An easy detection test for Ebola virus infection in on the way, reported researchers at the American Society for Microbiology Biothreats meeting on February 6th.
A group at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine has been working on an ELISA-like test for Ebola virus. Blood would be dabbed on a piece of paper pre-loaded with antibodies raised against Ebola virions. In 10-15 minutes, a colored line will appear if the sample contains virus. Specifically, the antibodies have been raised against a variety of EBOV antigens, such as EBOV rVP40, EBOV virus-like particles expressing EBOV VP40 and EBOV glycoprotein, and non-eVLPs. In actuality, the test is called a lateral flow immunoassay as the test is membrane-based.
Currently, the assay only works if the patient has been infected for awhile, generating a higher viral load in the blood. However, researchers are hoping to fine-tune their diagnostic test to work for infected patients in earlier stages.
Expect to see a "pregnancy test for Ebola" on the market in a couple of years!
Abstract of Poster Presentation at ASM:
-- Sharon Kam