A new test to spot infectious diseases and some of the world's deadliest superbugs that is 10,000 times more sensitive than other detection systems, has been developed by researchers from McMaster University in Canada. This new method could lead to unique diagnostic test to easily and quickly identify dangerous pathogens.
One of the researchers John Brennan, director of McMaster's Biointerfaces Institute, where the work was done, said, "The method, we have developed allows us to detect targets at levels that are unprecedented. The test has the best sensitivity ever reported for a detection system of this kind, it is as much as 10,000 times more sensitive than other detection systems. In essence, the new method can pick up any compound that might signal the presence of infectious disease, be it respiratory or gastrointestinal."
Using sophisticated techniques, the researcher team developed a molecular device made of DNA that can be switched 'on' by a specific molecule of their choice, such as a certain type of disease indicator or DNA molecule representing a genome of a virus. Another important advantage of this new test is that the method does not require complicated equipment and the tests can be run at room temperature under ordinary conditions.
Professor Yingfu Li, Canada Research Chair in Nucleic Acids Research at McMaster University, said, "This will be the foundation for us to create future diagnostic tests. This invention will allow us to detect anything we might be interested in, bacterial contamination or perhaps a protein molecule that is a cancer marker. Our method can sensitively detect all of them, and it can do so in a relatively short period of time."
This new test method was described online in the Angewandte Chemie International Edition.