New method is 6 to 10 times faster than the current techniques with equal sensitivity
No electricity, no reliable cold chain, no diagnostic equipment available – scientists in field laboratories who diagnose and deal with Ebola infections often work under challenging conditions. Researchers at the DPZ have developed Diagnostics-in-a-Suitcase, which contains all reagents and equipment to detect the Ebola virus within 15 minutes at point-of-need.
Moreover, the mobile suitcase laboratory will be operated by an integrated solar panel and a power pack. The mobile suitcase laboratory will enter a field trial in Guinea in collaboration with the Institut Pasteur de Dakar, Senegal, the Public Health Institute of Guinea, the University of Stirling, Robert Koch Institute, and TwistDx Ltd. Dr. Ahmed Abd El Wahed, scientist in the Unit of Infection Models at the DPZ, is the innovator of the suitcase laboratory. He will assemble five suitcases, which will be used at the Ebola treatment Centres in Guinea during the current outbreak.
Current tests rely on the detection of Ebola genome by the real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique which is not suitable for on-site screening. Samples collected from the site of an outbreak are therefore transported over long distances to laboratories for testing. Recently, criminals have stolen a motor vehicle, which transported infected material. The fear is that this might cause a wider spread of the virus if the material is used for political motives.
The Diagnostics-in-a-Suitcase will prevent this by allowing the detection of the Ebola virus at the point-of-need (not only in rural areas, but also at airports or quarantine stations). The Diagnostics-in-a-Suitcase is based on the Recombinase Polymerase Amplification (RPA) technology developed by TwistDx Ltd, a subsidiary of Alere Inc. RPA is as sensitive as PCR, but extremely rapid and works at a constant temperature, meaning no rapid heat-cycling equipment is required. Furthermore, reagents used in the RPA test are cold chain independent, which allows them to be used and transported at ambient temperature.
„The early detection of Ebola infected patients will lead to a more effective virus control since medical staff can identify and isolate confirmed Ebola cases more rapidly “, said Dr. Christiane Stahl-Hennig, the Head of the Unit of Infection Models.
„In remote field hospitals, resources such as electricity and cold storage are often in short supply.“, added Dr. Ahmed Abd El Wahed, „The Diagnostics-in-a-Suitcase will therefore contribute to a better management during the Ebola-outbreak“. From 216 applications, this project was one of six selected for funding by the British Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance (ELRHA) hosted by Save the Children Fund as part of the Research for Health in Humanitarian Crisis (R2HC) programme.
Information for Journalists
Dr. Ahmed Abd El Wahed will happily demonstrate the Diagnostics-in-a-suitcase to journalists at the DPZ until January 14th.
Printable pictures are available in our Mediathek. Please send a proof in case of publication.
Dr. Ahmed Abd El Wahed
Tel.: +49 551 3851-295
Christian Kiel (Communications)
Tel.: +49 551 3851-424
The German Primate Center (DPZ) – Leibniz Institute for Primate Research conducts biological and biomedical research with primates in infection research, neuroscience and primate biology. The DPZ maintains three field stations in the tropics and is the reference and service center for all aspects of primate research. The DPZ is one of 89 research and infrastructure facilities of the Leibniz Association.
Dr. Susanne Diederich | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
New technique makes brain scans better
22.06.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
New technology enables effective simultaneous testing for multiple blood-borne pathogens
13.06.2017 | Elsevier
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Information Technology