Newer Methods of Rapid Diagnostics Being Developed

Mr Kenneth Sugrim presenting at the IAS organised Seminar.

Newer methods of using ‘rapid diagnostics’ to accurately identify organisms of potential concern are being developed in light of Malaria, TB and Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreaks.  This has led to the gained popularity of metagenomics studies over the past decade for studying complex microbial communities. Mr Kenneth Sugrim, a PhD student at the Institute of Fundamental Sciences, Massey University, New Zealand, discussed the evolution of metagenomics methods over the last 10 – 15 years at a seminar in January 2015 organised by the Institute of Applied Sciences, USP.  From the use of 16S and Whole Genome Shotgun Sequencing utilising the Illumina MiseQ, a rapid test has been developed called the LAMP (Loop meditated isothermal AMPlification) which enables molecular diagnostics in 30 – 60 minutes.   There is now potential to develop similar tests for Typhoid, Dengue Virus and Leptospirosis in the Pacific Region.  Mr Klaus Feussner, Assistant Project Manager at the IAS Drug Discovery Unit in light of these findings stated that IAS will continue to work in collaboration with the team at the Institute of Fundamental Sciences, Massey University for the development of screening tests for organisms of public health concern in the South Pacific region.

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