ODT: NZ breakthrough in transplant test

Allison Rudd reports in the Otago Daily Times that University of Otago researchers have developed a simple urine test which is able to tell if transplanted kidneys are failing.

The test – the first of its kind in the world – would cost only a few cents once commercialised, but it could take 5-10 years for it to become available.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“After seven years of work, scientists had been able to devise a test to identify a molecule called major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules produced in the urine of transplant recipients whose new kidney was failing, study co-ordinator Dr Alex McLellan, of the Otago’s department of microbiology and immunology, said yesterday.

“A study analysing urine samples from 103 recipients from New Zealand, Australia and Switzerland showed patients with the MHC molecule in their urine had a 90% chance of their kidney failing, he said.

“The test, which he said would cost “a few cents” to carry out, would enable recipients and doctors to discover much more quickly if a kidney was failing and start a course of additional immunosuppressive drugs to counter that.”