Linnodee has developed a new rapid test for Leptospirosis. The test was launched at Leptocon 2009, organised by the International Leptospirosis Society in Kochin, Kerala.
The diagnostic test kit developed in Northern Ireland is helping health authorities in tackling leptospirosis.
The new test, Leptorapide, has also been validated by the influential Regional Medical Research Centre at Port Blair on India's Andaman Islands. The evaluation of Leptorapide against other competing products, funded by the World Health Organisation's South East Regional Office, found that it was the 'most effective'.
Although there are a number of new rapid tests for this disease on the market, the Leptorapide test was shown in an independent ICMR study funded by the WHO, to have the best overall performance of four new rapid tests evaluated. Following the onset of the disease, the test was also shown to diagnose infection much earlier than the competing tests.
The test is a latex agglutination test which provides a rapid result within two to three minutes. It is an inexpensive test and therefore more affordable to relief agencies responding to disease outbreaks following natural disasters such as typhoons or flooding, or in developing countries where funds for diagnostic tests may be limited.
Leptospirosis has been recognisd as major health problem with multiple epidemics and several outbreaks of the disease reported in recent years in the country.
Notable outbreaks include:
An outbreak (100 or more fatal cases) of suspected leptospirosis was reported in the area of Mumbai following local flooding in 2005. An outbreak (150 cases or more, at least 60 fatal) was reported in Maharashtra in 2006 and an outbreak (1,516 cases) was reported in Karnataka in 2007.
Leptospirosis results from exposure to water contaminated with the urine of infected animals, can be difficult to spot because the symptoms often resemble other conditions. Many people die as a result of misdiagnosis, or diagnosis being made too late.
EH News Bureau