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Join us PhD in Applied Life Sciences student Abrar Al Maghribi speaks about: Point of care infectious disease diagnosis via isothermal nucleic acid amplification integrated into a sample to answer device.
Sexually transmitted infections caused by Chlamydia trachomatous (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhea (NG) are often under-diagnosed, miss-diagnosed, and not properly treated, leading long term complications such as ectopic pregnancy and infertility, and to emergence of drug resistance. Dengue virus (DENV) infections can cause dengue fever (DF), which if not properly managed can lead to Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS), causing significant morbidity and mortality. In both cases, early and accurate detection at the point of care is critical to facilitate proper patient care and disease management. However, current diagnostic methods based on culture, or detection of antigens or host antibodies either are complex with long turn-around times, or lack sensitivity and specificity. Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) provide suitable sensitivity and specificity, but are often complex, expensive, and difficult to implement at the point of care. We are developing loop mediated isothermal nucleic acid amplification (LAMP) assays coupled with upstream sample preparation and downstream lateral flow detection integrated into a compact sample to answer device to facilitate point of care diagnosis of CT, NG, and DENV. Our goals include implementing these assays in thermostable dry reagent format, establishing multiplex detection of CT and NG, as well as detection of all DENV serotypes.