New High-Tech Mobile Medical Laboratories Deployed by the U.S. Navy and a European Consortium Use Genetic Analysis to Get Rapid Diagnosis of Ebola

These genetic tests cut time to answer from days to a few hours, reducing the risk of exposing non-infected patients and improving outcomes for Ebola patients

In response to the continuing outbreak of Ebola in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, more attention has been given to medical laboratory testing in these countries, along with a rush to develop diagnostic tests that can detect Ebola faster and more accurately without the need for state-of-the art clinical laboratories that are uncommon in those nations.The lack of even limited basic services in the region, such as electricity, hinders any attempt to install modern diagnostic facilities and clinical laboratories essential to controlling and preventing further spread of the disease. Another issue is the lack of trained pathologists, Ph.Ds., and clinical laboratory scientists to staff such labs in those nations.

One solution to this challenge, however, is for developed nations to provide mobile medical laboratories and hospital facilities. Such resources have been contributed by the United States, Canada, and several European countries. (more…)

New Medical Laboratory-in-a-Suitcase Detects Ebola in 15 Minutes or Less

Demand for a rapid, accurate diagnostic solution to combat Ebola is motivating research teams in many countries to develop solutions that can be put to immediate use

In West Africa, the outbreak of Ebola in several countries motivated researchers in Germany to develop a fast, accurate, and inexpensive test that could be performed in patient care settings without the need for a centralized medical laboratory.

In these West African countries, lack of electricity and reliable cold storage or diagnostic equipment handicaps clinical laboratory technicians who are testing patients for the Ebola virus. A new test developed by researchers at the German Primate Center (DPZ) in Göttingen, Germany, cuts the time to answer an Ebola diagnosis to just 15 minutes. It requires no electricity and is portable. Previously, the fastest Ebola diagnostics test took three hours to get results and required transporting samples to often-distant medical laboratories. (more…)