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Researchers Use Oragene●DNA to Find Genetic Link to Neglected Tropical Disease

DNA Genotek today announced that its Oragene•DNA product is being used by a team of international researchers to further investigate a genetic link to podoconiosis. Podoconiosis is a disease occurring in individuals exposed to red clay soil derived from volcanic rock in tropical Africa, Central America and northwest India.

(PRWEB) October 1, 2009 -- DNA Genotek, a leading provider of products for biological sample collection, today announced that its Oragene•DNA product is being used by a team of international researchers to further investigate a genetic link to podoconiosis. Podoconiosis is a disease occurring in individuals exposed to red clay soil derived from volcanic rock in tropical Africa, Central America and northwest India. Characteristics of the disease include swelling of the foot and lower leg which progresses to elephantiasis, having a severe impact on mobility and quality of life for those affected.

Dr. Melanie Newport, Professor in Infectious Diseases and Global Health, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, UK is co-leading the study aimed at understanding the role of genetics and environmental factors in the development of disease. In order to conduct the research, human DNA samples needed to be collected from residents in Wolaitta Zone, Southern Ethiopia.

Dr. Newport said, "Collecting DNA samples in rural Ethiopia would be a tremendous challenge without Oragene•DNA. The saliva-based product was easy-to-use and completely non-invasive, which allowed us to collect from as many individuals as possible. The product provides high quality DNA and is stable at ambient temperatures, which is ideal for collection in a tropical environment. We have already shown that there is a genetic component to the development of disease and hope analysis of the Oragene•DNA samples will lead to the identification of the gene or genes involved."

Dr. Gail Davey, Associate Professor, School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University and co-leader for the study added, "Previous segregation analysis suggested a genetic basis to podoconiosis, and Oragene•DNA has provided an ideal means by which to begin indentification of the gene or genes involved. We find the product very easy to use among patients and family members, who all appreciate the simplicity of the approach."

The identification of a genetic link to podoconiosis may enhance the understanding of gene-environment interactions in the development of other non-communicable diseases.

"Dr. Newport and Dr. Davey are leading essential research into a debilitating disease and DNA Genotek is proud that Oragene•DNA's high quality and ease of use are enabling the research project to save time and money.," said Ian Curry, president and CEO, DNA Genotek, Inc. "Those afflicted with podoconiosis can receive effective treatment with the use of compression bandages so they can improve their quality of life. And it is our hope that this research will enable the identification of those at risk for developing this disease so that effective preventative measures can be taken."

About DNA Genotek:

DNA Genotek focuses on providing high-quality biological sample collection products. The company's lead product, the Oragene•DNA self-collection kit, is the easiest way to collect and preserve large amounts of DNA from saliva. Oragene•DNA's reliability and ease-of-use have resulted in rapid adoption at top-tier health research institutions globally, including Harvard, Stanford, Cambridge, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Zurich. DNA Genotek markets its products worldwide and has established a global customer base in over 85 countries. For more information about DNA Genotek, visit

For information about this press release contact:

Shauna White
DNA Genotek
613-723-5757 ext. 307

® Oragene is a registered trademark of DNA Genotek, Inc.


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