Mentors International has inked an agreement with Co-Diagnostics HBDC to reduce the cost of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test in developing world.
Pursuant to the terms of agreement, Mentors International will use its international connections to establish low-cost testing centers while HBDC would make available low-cost testing reagents.
Additionally, Mentors International will offer skilled labor training to second-generation workers through its micro financing program.
The testing will begin with tuberculosis disease and a pilot program will be initiated in Guatemala.
HBDC CEO Brent Satterfield said that Mentors International is helping to provide a framework to ensure that low test prices make it all the way through to the patient.
"In Guatemala, this could reduce the price of tuberculosis real-time PCR testing for the patient to less than 10% of what they currently pay. This should dramatically increase the number of patients who have access to high quality diagnostic care," Satterfield added.
Real-time PCR testing provides rapid and accurate identification of pathogens through their genetic signatures.
But the prohibitive cost of test kits, equipment and the amount of training required to run these tests has impeded its adoption in many countries across the globe.