New 20 minute saliva test for dengue also detects HIV and syphilis

Singapore, Jan 30: With dengue reaching epidemiological proportions in India a few months ago, this new research has come just at the right time for rapid assessment of the disease the next time this situation arises. A paper-based disposable device that can detect dengue specific antibodies in saliva in 20 minutes has been designed by researchers. The antibodies present in in early-stage secondary infection are easily detected by this diagnostic kit which was designed at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN). 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, explained professor Jackie Y. Ying, executive director of IBN. (Read: Prevent dengue with these 10 practical tips)

Traditionally, patients blood samples are tested for the presence of dengue antigens or antibodies, but this new device easily detects the presence of IgG, a dengue specific antibody which is found at onset of secondary infections in one step. In comparison to the generic lateral flow techniques used in diagnostic kits, this device uses a stacking flow design. This diagnostic kit can also be used to detect other infectious diseases such as HIV and syphilis, the researchers noted.

They are also investigating the use of other common fluid samples, such as blood, urine and serum for rapid, high-sensitivity test kits. The results are detailed in the journal Lab on a Chip. (Read: Can papaya leaves help cure dengue?)

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With inputs from IANS

Image source: Getty Images

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