Researchers in the UK have developed a new visual bioassay that can detect flu viruses by making them heavier.
Early diagnosis is fundamental to slowing viral outbreaks. The latest (since 2003) outbreak of avian flu from Asia resulted in millions of chickens being culled and, according to the World Health Organization, the death of 393 people. Many laboratory-based tests, such as viral culture assays and the polymer chain reaction (PCR), are incredibly sensitive and accurate. However, they are costly, time consuming and require specialist training, so are unsuitable for transition to the field. It is therefore vital to introduce simple, quick and cheap field tests to control the spread of diseases and guide preventative measures, especially in countries like Vietnam where livestock is still a backyard affair.
- Gold nanoparticles are conjugated with aptamers. Binding to the virus forms a gold nanoshell on the viral envelope
Read the original journal article in ChemComm:
Aptamer-based biosensors for the rapid visual detection of flu viruses
T. T. Le, B. Adamiak, D. J. Benton, C. J. Johnson, S. Sharma, R. Fenton, J. W. McCauley, M. Iqbal and A. E. G. Cass
Chem. Commun., 2014,50, 15533-15536
DOI: 10.1039/C4CC07888H, Communication