A new diagnostic kit, Cygnus, has been used by Biomedical technology researchers to detect Dengue Fever with significantly improved rates compared to lateral flow testing kits.
The team from Reading University worked with clinicians and academics in Thailand to trial the tests alongside current well-known alternatives. They found the new tests showed eighty-two per cent clinical sensitivity, which beat lateral flow testing (seventy-four per cent sensitivity) and matching lab diagnostics which are hospital-based (eighty-three per cent sensitivity). These devices can simultaneously make ten measurements, which allows the identification of the precise dengue virus that caused the infection. The results are published in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
“Cygnus has been used by Biomedical technology researchers to detect Dengue Fever.“
The tests used for the research were precisely created to detect Dengue Fever, which affects roughly four hundred million people per annum. Dengue Fever can be the most lethal in children; however, most cases are mild.
A postdoctoral research associate in microfluidic antimicrobial resistance testing at Reading University and Lead author, Dr Sarah Needs, stated: “The paper shows exciting potential for the use of the microfluidic ‘lab on a strip’ tests that can used in conjunction with a smartphone and are more powerful than LFT testing in this case. As well as being cheap to produce, the lab on a strip technology allows users to test many different targets at once in one single sample, so it could be useful to detect multiple diseases not just one.”
Associate professor in biomedical technology at Reading University and co-creator of the lab on a strip technology, Dr Alexander Edwards, stated: “While some people might only recently learned of the trade-offs between home [vs] lab testing following Covid-19, in many parts of the world rapid lateral flow tests are used for a range of illnesses including dengue. With the Cygnus concept, we are tackling the biggest hurdle for home testing. How do you make something portable that can be cheaply mass-produced while still matching laboratory test performance? By designing the microfluidic lab on a strip using mass-production melt-extrusion it is possible to scale up production and produce hundreds of thousands of tests. By recording results with smartphones, which are becoming ubiquitous, we have designed something that could be revolutionary for healthcare.”See all the latest jobs in Service Engineering