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Quick test finds signs of diarrheal disease
Date:2/6/2014

refrigeration for up to a year, he said.

While current tests might catch the disease in samples with thousands of the pathogens, the Rice technique detects the presence of very few even one parasite in a sample. In their experiments, the researchers reported the presence or absence of the disease was correctly identified in 27 of 28 infected and control-group mice and all 21 humans whose stool was tested.

Crannell said the method requires little equipment, because the enzymes that amplify DNA work best at or near body temperature. "You don't need a thermal cycler (used for PCR analysis); you don't need external heating equipment. You can hold the sample under your armpit, or put it in your pocket," he said.

The research team's goal is to produce a low-cost diagnostic that may also test for the presence of several other parasites, including giardia, the cause of another intestinal disease. The researchers are working to package the components for use in low-resource settings, Crannell said.

Co-authors are Rice graduate student Brittany Rohrman, and research scientist Alejandro Castellanos-Gonzalez and lab technician Ayesha Irani of UTMB. White is a professor and chief of the Department of Internal Medicine at UTMB. Richards-Kortum is Rice's Stanley C. Moore Professor and chair of the Department of Bioengineering and director of Beyond Traditional Borders as well as Rice 360˚.


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Contact: David Ruth
david@rice.edu
713-348-6327
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert

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