Scientists from The Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN), Singapore, have successfully invented a device that can test the dengue within 20 minutes. Paper-based disposable device detects dengue-specific antibodies from victim’s saliva. Further research is going on the revolutionary kit and scientists are looking forward to commercialise the product.
“Our rapid diagnostic kit can detect a key dengue antibody from saliva that is present in early-stage secondary infection,” said IBN Executive Director Professor Jackie Y Ying. “The ability to differentiate between primary and secondary dengue infections makes it a valuable early diagnosis tool that would help to ensure timely treatment and proper care of patients,” said Ying.
Conventionally doctors took patient’s blood sample to test the presence of dengue antigens or antibodies. A painful process that took a lot of time but this new paper-based diagnostic kit is capable of detecting lgG, a dengue specific antibody, via saliva sample that too in just 20 minutes. However, the device is only capable of detecting dengue antigens in early secondary stage (a person who has been infected by dengue previously). To design the kit, researchers used stacking flow model instead of existing lateral flow model used in pregnancy kits.
According to researchers, dengue and its more lethal form, dengue hemorrhagic fever, are the most mosquito-borne diseases in the world. Many people across the globe die of dengue every year, especially in tropical and subtropical region. India is not untouched too, as the vector-borne disease grips the nation every year killing several hundreds of people. This invention can play an essential role in controlling the disease.
In addition, researchers are looking forward to apply the same concept to detect several other infectious disease including HIV and Syphilis. Soon we can expect to have several others diagnostic kits that can detect a disease within a flick of a second to ensure timely treatment.