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27th July 2015  Content supplied by: 

BBI Group Develops Rapid Test to Aid Identification of Ebola Virus

The BBI Group has developed in collaboration with the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and licensed, through technology transfer company Ploughshare Innovations, a rapid test for Ebola.

The assay, which is in the process of being verified to allow EUA submission, will be used to test patients suspected of Ebola infection to screen and potentially help with how they are subsequently managed. The test, utilising lateral flow technology, can provide a result in approximately 20 minutes.

Using lateral flow technology, BBI’s assay will make testing simpler and quicker than assays such as RT-PCR that requires technical infrastructure. With minimal training, local health teams can complete the test at bedside and have a result in 20 minutes. In field data suggests the test could be used as a negative agreement ‘rule-out’ test and screening method (1). In the future, such a test could possibly be deployed at borders to monitor and control spread of the virus.

Through collaboration with partners, a lateral flow test has already been evaluated in the field. In trials in Sierra Leone, of 138 participants enrolled in testing, a 100% detection rate was achieved.  At a low positive the test achieved 100% sensitivity and 92% specificity, and at a high positive, 100% sensitivity and 97% specificity (1), making the BBI assay potentially more sensitive and specific than other lateral flow or dipstick type assays currently available to date.

(1) Eurosurveillance, 2015, 20 (12):4-6


Date Published: 27th July 2015

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