Washington D.C, Nov 8 (ANI): A Scots scientist has developed a rapid-detection Ebola test kit that can fit in a suitcase.
Manfred Weidman from Stirling University developed a sophisticated point-of-care saliva test, all contained within a suitcase-sized mobile laboratory. Three mobile labs are now deployed in Senegal and Guinea and a test evaluation of 928 samples showed it performs exceptionally well under field conditions.
There are more than 25 laboratories in West Africa and everyone is using different tests, said Weidmann, adding “Ours, which uses a method called recombinase polymerase amplification, was compared to two other tests and results show it can be reliably used without the need for a confirmatory test and it appears to outperform a widely used WHO recommended test.”
He added that there has been a huge push for robotic testing systems, but they are difficult to establish and expensive to maintain. Their project has successfully developed and deployed a low cost mobile laboratory using a rapid, highly sensitive and specific assay which can be stored at room temperature and operated by local teams with its own energy supply.
Weidmann has also developed a range of assays to detect other mosquito borne viruses, such as Dengue virus and Rift Valley Fever virus.
The research is published in the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) journal Eurosurveillance. (ANI)