Latin American link-up aims for US$1 syphilis test

Monday, September 23, 2013

Paraguayan and Uruguayan scientists are working together to develop a US$1 diagnostic test for syphilis, which they hope could be launched as early as next year.

The early-detection kit for a disease that affects three million people in Latin America would be used alongside pregnancy tests to cut cases of congenital syphilis, say the researchers, who have linked up through the UN University’s Biotechnology Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNU-BIOLAC), based in Venezuela.

This programme, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, promotes biotechnology development in the region by providing training and strengthening research, and by working with regional and international scientific and academic organisations.

At two UNU-BIOLAC training courses held in Paraguay earlier this year, scientists from Paraguay and Uruguay started to work together to purify proteins from the bacteria that causes syphilis so they can be used for diagnosis with the aim of developing a cheap test for the disease.

Source: scidev.net (link opens in a new window)

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