Research ArticleDiagnostics

A point-of-care diagnostic for differentiating Ebola from endemic febrile diseases

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Science Translational Medicine  12 Dec 2018:
Vol. 10, Issue 471, eaat0944
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aat0944

Discerning febrile diseases

Many infectious diseases present with common clinical symptoms, such as fever, which complicates diagnosis at the point of need. Sebba and colleagues developed an assay using surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) nanotags to distinguish Ebola virus infections from Lassa and malaria. The no-wash triplex assay workflow adds a small volume of blood and buffer to dried SERS reagents and delivers a readout within 30 min. The assay detected parasite- and virus-specific antigens spiked into the blood, Ebola infections in nonhuman primates, and Ebola and malaria infections in human blood samples collected from endemic regions during field testing. Although further testing is required, this assay could be useful during febrile disease outbreaks.

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