Advertisement Japan develops 30-minute test to detect Ebola virus disease - Pharmaceutical Business review
Pharmaceutical Business review is using cookies

ContinueLearn More

Japan develops 30-minute test to detect Ebola virus disease

Researchers from the Nagasaki University in Japan, in collaboration with Eiken Chemical have developed a new method to detect the presence of the Ebola virus in just 30 minutes.

Ebola virus virion

By using the new technology, doctors will be able to quickly diagnose the virus.

Professor Jiro Yasuda was quoted by AFP as saying that the new method is simpler than the existing one and can be used in places where expensive dedicated testing equipment is unavailable.

Yasuda said: "We have yet to receive any questions or requests, but we are pleased to offer the system, which is ready to go.

"Current testing methods can only be used in very limited places in large cities.

"More patients can be diagnosed with the new method."

Researchers have developed a substance called a primer that increases only those genes specific to the Ebola virus found in a blood sample or other bodily fluid. DNA specific to the virus, if present, will be shown within 30 minutes.

The new method can be conducted using only a small, battery-powered warmer, and is said to be suitable for use in regions with poor power infrastructure.

Currently, the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method is used to detect the Ebola virus.

In PCR, doctors heat and cool samples repeatedly to amplify the DNA of the virus and the procedure takes up to two hours.

So far, Ebola hemorrhagic fever has claimed the lives of more than 1,500 people in West Africa.

Image: Ebola virus virion. Photo: courtesy of CDC/Cynthia Goldsmith