The scientists at the Greene Infectious Disease Laboratory at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and their colleagues in the WHO Global Laboratory Network say that it is the first tool that can be used on a wide variety of samples, including tissue, blood, urine, and stool, allowing for the rapid identification of pathogens in a variety of laboratory and clinical settings.

"Because clinical syndromes are rarely specific for single pathogens, methods that simultaneously screen for multiple agents are important, particularly when early accurate diagnosis can alter treatment or assist in containment of an outbreak," stated W. Ian Lipkin, MD, director of the Greene Infectious Disease Laboratory at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

The chip performance was initially tested by using samples obtained from patients with respiratory disease, haemorrhagic fever, tuberculosis, and urinary tract infections. In all cases, the chip analysis detected an agent that was consistent with the diagnosis obtained by more traditional and slower methods, such as culture or polymerase chain reaction (PCR). In addition, the GreeneChip was used in the analysis of an unknown sample from a patient with a viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF)-like syndrome.

"We are very excited to work with the WHO to make an impact in managing disease outbreaks globally - especially in regions of the world where resources are scarce," stated Thomas Briese, PhD, associate director of the Greene Laboratory.

MEDICA.de; Source: Columbia University