Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers develop diagnostic test for pathogens

20.03.2006


Rapid identification of pathogens responsible for disease outbreaks critical for containment and implementation of public health measures



Researchers at the Greene Infectious Disease Laboratory at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health led by Thomas Briese, PhD, associate professor of Epidemiology, have developed a rapid, comprehensive diagnostic test for viral hemorrhagic fevers caused by the Ebola and Marburg viruses, as well as others. The new diagnostic tool is addressed in a paper published in the April 2006 issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Emerging Infectious Diseases. (The paper can be found online at www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol12no04/05-1515.htm)

Increasing international travel, trafficking in wildlife, political instability, and terrorism have made emerging infectious diseases a global concern. Viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHF) are of specific concern because they are associated with high morbidity and mortality (up to 80% mortality rates), and the potential for rapid dissemination through human-to-human transmission. The term "viral hemorrhagic fever" characterizes a severe multisystem syndrome associated with fever, shock, and bleeding caused by infection with one of a number of viruses, such as Ebola or Marburg.


"Currently, there is no way to treat most of these outbreaks," stated W. Ian Lipkin, MD, director of the Jerome L. and Dawn Greene Infectious Disease Laboratory at the Mailman School, and professor of Epidemiology, Neurology and Pathology at Columbia University. He added, "The most important first step is diagnostic--rapid identification of the exact pathogen responsible for an outbreak of disease is critical for containment and the implementation of public health measures, especially in instances where the agents are encountered out of their natural geographic context."

While other tools exist for the detection of VHF agents, none offers the sensitivity and speed of this new diagnostic screen, which incorporates MassTag PCR technology--providing the ability to simultaneously consider multiple agents, thereby reducing the time needed for differential diagnosis. To address the need for highly sensitive diagnostics, researchers built on an established method known as polymerase chain reaction that allows amplification of genetic sequences and on a technology previously used for DNA sequencing and detection of genetic polymorphisms. Genetic probes for pathogens were coupled to markers known as mass codes. After amplification, incorporated mass codes were detected by mass spectroscopy allowing identification of the pathogen.

To facilitate rapid differential diagnosis of VHF agents, Briese and colleagues established the "Greene MassTag Panel VHF v1.0," which can screen simultaneously for Ebola Zaire, Ebola Sudan, Marburg, Lassa virus, Rift Valley fever, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Hantaan, Seoul, yellow fever, and Kyasanur Forest disease viruses.

These results confirm earlier work in respiratory diseases indicating that MassTag PCR offers a rapid, sensitive, specific, and economic approach to differential diagnosis of infectious diseases. Small, low-cost, or mobile APCI-MS units extend the applicability of this technique beyond selected reference laboratories.

Stated Dr. Lipkin, "This work represents an unprecedented collaboration in the creation of diagnostics for the developing world. The contributors to this work represent laboratories devoted to strengthening global disease surveillance and outbreak response capabilities." A vital part of the commitment includes validation of innovative, new detection tools for diagnosis of emerging and high-risk pathogens, as well as distribution of assays and reagents in global laboratory networks. The working group consisted of representatives from the following institutions:

  • Jerome L. and Dawn Greene Infectious Disease Laboratory, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, USA
  • Special Pathogens Unit, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Sandringham, South Africa
  • Special Pathogens Program, National Microbiology Laboratory, Public Health Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, Canada
  • United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, USA
  • Bernhard-Nocht--Institute of Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Germany
  • Special Pathogens Branch, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA
  • Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada
  • NIH, NIAID, USA

Randee Sacks Levine | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.columbia.edu
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol12no04/05-1515.htm

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>