A paper-based disposable device developed by The Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) of A*STAR will enable detecting dengue-specific antibodies easily from saliva within 20 minutes. The device is currently undergoing further development for commercial use.
Currently, dengue infection is diagnosed by testing the patient's blood sample in the laboratory for the presence of dengue antigens or antibodies. IBN's rapid diagnostic kit can detect a key dengue antibody, IgG, from saliva that is present in early-stage secondary infection and has the ability to differentiate between primary and secondary dengue infections, thus making it a valuable early diagnostic tool that could help ensure timely treatment and proper care of patients. Unlike blood samples, saliva can be collected easily and painlessly.
The kit can also be adapted to detect other infectious diseases like HIV and Syphilis. IBN researchers are investigating the use of other common fluid samples, such as blood, urine and serum for rapid, high-sensitivity test kits.
The study has been published in the journal Lab on a Chip.