One of the viruses that have the potential of spreading fastest from one person to the other is Ebola. Ebola outbreaks have been experienced in the recent past, especially in multiple African countries. For these outbreaks to stop, there is a need to develop a quick detection method for the disease. One of the Scottish scientists from the school of Natural Sciences has been working on this rapid test method.
Developing the test
The Scottish scientist has developed the novel testing method for the Ebola virus that can rapidly perform in the field. The good news is that the test can be done even without much-sophisticated equipment. Moreover, every tool required to conduct this test can fit in a small bag mobile laboratory. This makes it suitable to be carried even in remote areas with a lot of ease at relatively low cost.
For the test to take place, saliva samples are obtained from the patient. The samples are then exposed to a process known as recombinase polymerase amplification. The method was tried on a collected 928 saliva samples of which it rapidly detected the Ebola virus from those samples. Besides recognizing the Ebola virus, it also proved to work exceptionally well under field conditions.
Due to the effectiveness and rapid outcomes of this test, three mobile laboratories have been established in Guinea and Senegal in Africa. The scientists believe that this method will be more effective than those other methods that were in use in those areas. Furthermore, scientists are also considering the use of robotic testing to expedite the procedure. However, they are challenging to establish and to maintain in poorer regions due to economic considerations.
The rapid Ebola testing project has been successfully developed and is in use. The mobile testing laboratories have also made it cheaper, and local teams can easily handle the equipment used in testing. The testing equipment can also be stored at room temperature, and it does not require more energy hence convenience in their use in the field.
Establishment of the laboratories in West Africa
Currently, over 25 rapid Ebola testing laboratories have been established and are all functional in West Africa alone. These laboratories use different quick Ebola tests to test samples and determine those which are infected with the virus. One of the laboratories that have been established has performed exceptionally well, outshining even those set up by the World Health Organization. It is an indication that the rapid Ebola test will help significantly in identifying and managing these cases at their earliest stages, hence preventing their spread. There is no doubt that biomedical companies like LexaGene Holdings Inc. (TSX.V: LXG) (OTCQB: LXXGF) are happy each time tests like the Ebola rapid tests are tested successfully since more lives are saved with such technologies.
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