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 New antibody analysis accelerates rational vaccine design
09.08.2018 | Scripps Research Institute

nachricht Distrust of power influences choice of medical procedures
01.08.2018 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

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: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

Im Focus: World record: Fastest 3-D tomographic images at BESSY II

The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Building up' stretchable electronics to be as multipurpose as your smartphone

14.08.2018 | Information Technology

During HIV infection, antibody can block B cells from fighting pathogens

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

First study on physical properties of giant cancer cells may inform new treatments

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>