A microbiology professor at the University of Nevada School of Medicine has initiated a partnership with a virologist from Public Health Canada to develop a rapid point-of-care diagnostic test for Ebola virus.
David AuCoin, Ph.D., associate professor, said the end product will be similar to a home pregnancy test and will be able to detect a protein that the Ebola virus displays on its surface.
"This test will allow for diagnosis within 15 minutes directly from patient samples," said AuCoin, whose lab will design and construct the prototype diagnostic test.
No infectious Ebola virus or patient samples are requited for test development so there is no possibility of Ebola infection associated with this School of Medicine research project. The reagents needed for this project have been classified as biosafety level 1 (the lowest risk level) and can be compared to the risk level of an undergraduate academic teaching laboratory.
Once the AuCoin lab has constructed a prototype Ebola diagnostic, it will be sent to collaborators at Public Health Canada for further testing and validation in the lab and in the field.
"We are thrilled to help in the global response to a disease that is impacting so many worldwide," AuCoin said.