Nov 05 2014

Ebola: a diagnostic test in 15 minutes developed by French researchers

Ebola French researchers

The test, a same as a pregnancy test format “will be used in the field without special equipment, from a drop of blood, plasma or urine,” says the Commissioner of Atomic Energy.
To identify patients infected with the Ebola virus to prevent its spread is one of the challenges in the fight against the epidemic.

French researchers from the Commission for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies (CEA) developed a rapid diagnostic test for Ebola virus in less than 15 minutes on the field,  the CEA announced Tuesday. It will give an answer “in less than 15 minutes for any patient with symptoms of the disease,” the Commissioner said in a statement.

Developed by a team from CEA at Marcoule in the Gard, the test was “validated” by the high-security Microbiological Laboratory P4 Jean Mérieux at Lyon. Its industrialization phase is expected to start soon.

Prototype at the end of the month

A prototype will be available by the end of October to allow the clinical field validation, adds CEA. Current diagnostic tests for Ebola virus based on genetic testing of the virus, take an average of a little over two hours and should be performed only in the laboratory. The value of rapid tests is to diagnose closer to affected populations.
Rapid tests are currently under development in several countries. Japanese researchers had announced last month that they have found a new method to detect the virus in 30 minutes. American researchers are working on a test that should be able to diagnose the virus in 10 minutes.