Fast paper test detects three diseases at once
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
A quick, paper-based blood test which can simultaneously detect the Ebola, dengue and yellow fever viruses has shown promising results in tests, say researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States.
The device, which looks similar to a commercial pregnancy test and comes with a US $5 price tag, was presented at a conference of the American Chemical Society last week (18 August).
The test combines coloured silver nanoparticles with antibodies against each of the three viruses. If a patient has the corresponding virus in their blood, the test pad shows a disease-specific colour within a few minutes.
At the moment, healthcare workers use genetic techniques to examine the DNA in a blood sample and identify a particular virus. This takes several hours and requires a stable laboratory environment.