JERUSALEM, July 22 (Xinhua) -- Israeli scientists have developed an algorithm that may predict the risk of getting tuberculosis and other infectious diseases, according to a study by the Weizmann Institute of Science published on Monday.
The study, published in the journal Nature Communications, is based on an examination of the initial meeting of a bacterium with the immune system, which could lead to the outbreak of a disease even many years later.
The scientists first tested real meetings between immune cells and bacteria, using blood samples which contain immune cells and the salmonella bacterium.
Next, they developed an algorithm based on the database created by the meetings, which can tell not only what the composition of the cells is but also their levels of activation and reaction potential.
The team then asked whether the algorithm could be used to diagnose the onset of tuberculosis, which is caused by a bacterium that often chooses dormancy for years in the body.
It was found that the activity levels of monocytes immune cells could be used to predict the onset or course of the disease.