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First field-based molecular diagnostic test for African sleeping sickness in sight
Date:9/15/2011

wards the elimination of diseases such as sleeping sickness, in order to sustain an efficient surveillance system at the most peripheral level."

LAMP is a molecular diagnostic platform that detects pathogen DNA from patient samples with very high specificity and sensitivity. Unlike most other such tests, LAMP amplifies target DNA at a constant temperature, which means that it can be carried out with much less laboratory equipment than other molecular tests. The reagents for LAMP can be stored at room temperature, since they are dried down in the cup of the reaction tube. In addition, results can be detected by the naked eye, rather than with the complicated detection equipment required for more conventional methods.

"The LAMP test has tremendous public health potential. As a sophisticated yet practical diagnostic tool, it can be used outside of traditional laboratories by technicians without training in molecular biology and can be brought closer to the remote areas where patients live," said President and CEO of Eiken, Tetsuya Teramoto.

Sleeping sickness is a deadly, neglected tropical disease that affects impoverished rural communities in sub-Saharan Africa. It is transmitted by the bite of the tsetse fly and about 60 million people in 36 countries are thought to be at risk. There are no clinical signs that are characteristic of the disease, which makes it difficult to diagnose. If infected people are not treated, they eventually die. The diagnosis of sleeping sickness currently relies heavily on trained health workers using a screening test to identify suspects, and then using microscopes to detect parasites in the blood and other body fluids.

LAMP could also be used for the simultaneous analysis of large numbers of samples, and it has great potential for the diagnosis of animal trypanosomiasis, or nagana, which causes losses of more than $4.2 billion to African farmers every year.

"I am particularly delighted t
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Contact: Preeti Singh
psingh@burnesscommunications.com
301-280-5722
FIND
Source:Eurekalert

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