Luminex Corporation this week announced that U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) Diagnostics Division is working on rapid diagnostics for the Ebola virus using Luminex xMAP Technology. Luminex’s MAGPIX system was recently deployed to Africa to support research efforts to control the current outbreak.
The recent Ebola outbreak has so far claimed 729 lives across Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone according to the World Health Organization . Ebola virus disease is a severe, often fatal illness in humans characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. Early diagnosis is critical for proper management of the illness and prevention of spread.
Developed by USAMRIID Diagnostics Division and run on the MAGPIX system, the assays test serum samples for the presence of viral antigens (proteins) as well as antibodies directed at these antigens. Results of the assays provide information about replication of the virus and the immune response of the host, respectively.
In a study conducted in rhesus macaques, Dr. Abbe Ames and colleagues showed that some animals may be able to limit the replication of the virus, and thus have a better chance of survival.1 Understanding the pathophysiology of the Ebola virus may assist in the development of countermeasures against the disease that could save lives.
“Our open architecture instruments provide researchers a flexible tool for assay development that can advance their research goals,” said Patrick J. Balthrop, president and chief executive officer of Luminex. “Understanding the functional progression of a virus is extremely valuable information. Luminex is proud to support researchers, clinicians and biosurveillance professionals and their important work in the global effort to combat infectious diseases.”
Ebola virus disease is a severe, often fatal illness in humans. Outbreaks have a case fatality rate of up to 90% and occur primarily in remote villages in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission. Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus. Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care. No licensed specific treatment or vaccine is available for use in people or animals.2 Because of the potential for human-to-human transmission, it is important to quickly identify infected individuals so proper precautions can be taken to limit spread of the disease.
2) Ebola virus disease. World Health Organization (Internet). Cited 2014 July. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs103/en/.
Source: Luminex press release, adapted. xMAP and MAGPIX are registered, protected terms of Luminex Corporation.