MAP testing is not available through hospital clinics; it is currently only done in research laboratories. No tests for MAP are yet ‘clinically validated’ although with the modern methods used they are highly accurate and sensitive. This is the case worldwide, not just in the UK. The lack of a reliable MAP test that can be accessed via clinics is a major unmet medical need.
Prof. Hermon-Taylor is completing the validation of a new diagnostic test for MAP at King’s College London. This is a smart, simple, highly accurate test which can be done on a blood or tissue sample. It will be automatable so that many tests can be done very quickly, using standard equipment already available to hospital labs across the world. In its final automated form, the test will take around 15 mins to run.
Prof. Hermon-Taylor’s lab currently runs the manual prototype of the test on tissue samples. These can be fresh or stored samples i.e. if someone with Crohn’s has previously had surgery or a biopsy, segments of the tissue taken would be embedded in paraffin and stored in the lab at the hospital; these can be used retrospectively to test for MAP. A new blood test is also now being validated by Prof. Hermon-Taylor.
Prof. Hermon-Taylor would dearly love to be in a position to offer the test to all our supporters who want it right now. Unfortunately, there are just not the resources to do this; running the test in its current form is a time-consuming process and if his time was spent running tests then no research progress would be made. We therefore need to focus our energies on completing the work –and raising the funds to enable us to do so -so that the test can be made available to everyone as soon as possible.