WHILE some scientists in the country are taxing brain to come up with child-friendly diagnostic test for Tuberculosis (TB), a recent study shows that trained rats increase the detection of the disease in children significantly and could help address the childhood TB diagnosis challenges. The study conducted by the Sokoine University of Agriculture- Apopo TB Tanzania, indicated that when trained rats were given children's sputum samples to sniff, they were able to pinpoint 68 per cent more cases of TB infections than detected through standard smear tests. SUA -Apopo TB Tanzania Programme Manager, Dr Georgies Mgode told the 'Daily News' yesterday that TB diagnosis in children is a challenge with up to 94 per cent of children with the disease treated empirically in TB high-burden countries. Dr Mgode said that the current TB detection methods are far from perfect, especially in under-resourced countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia where the disease is prevalent, and where a reasonably cheap smear test is commonly used. "Problems with this type of test are that the accuracy varies depending on the quality of sputum sample used, and very young children are often unable to provide enough sputum to be analysed," he said. Trained rats panacea to pediatric TB dilemma There are no child friendly rats, imo.