Updated on 18 June 2013
Early influenza virus detection
Molecular diagnostic is undergoing a paradigm shift to understand and detect various diseases that could later turn into severe social and economic burden. For instance, with increasing number of cases of novel influenza A (H1N1) in many countries around the world, there are chances that influenza virus may spread to other countries as well in future.
Estimating the need for faster methods to detect the virus before it spreads, Japan-based RIKEN Omics Science Center, in cooperation with Institute of Medical Science at the University of Tokyo, is developing an H1N1 detection technique based on its SmartAmp technology. SmartAmp (Smart Amplification Process) reduces the gene typing test time to half an hour, and with the precise results, genetic diagnosis can be carried out immediately upon initial consultation. Using this technology, the Omics Science Center has developed methods for detecting the regular seasonal influenza A virus.
"Omics researchers are currently applying SmartAmp to the H1N1 virus, and they are developing reagents for virus detection and optimizing conditions of the reagents. Once optimization is complete, tests will be performed on actual samples from patients at the Osaka Prefectural Institute of Public Health," explained Dr Toshihisa Ishikawa, professor of Biochemistry, Omics Science Centre, Japan.
Molecular diagnosis is also working towards making personalized healthcare for detecting diseases with no current symptoms but with chances of any trigger in future, more accessible. India-based Jai Health has developed JaiHeart, a genetic-based test for total heart disease risk developed specifically for Indian, other Asian, Middle Eastern and African populations. Jai Health tests estimates total risk of disease facilitating more targeted screening, earlier intervention and effective prevention.