Locally developed diagnostic kit can diagnose dengue in 45 minutes
21 Sep 2016
Lianhe Zaobao, 21 Sep 2016- SP and Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) has jointly developed a new test kit which takes just 45 minutes to diagnose dengue with a 100 per cent accuracy rate. Compared to the current diagnostic kit used in hospitals which takes around 4 to 6 hours, general practitioners will be able to use this kit to test for dengue among patients, thus saving resources for the hospitals. The kit will also be able to distinguish between the four known strains of the dengue virus. The kit has undergone two years of laboratory testing of 152 blood samples. SP’s Centre for Biomedical and Life Sciences Director, Dr Tan Eng Lee, shared that their goal is to develop faster, better and cheaper diagnostic kits for easier use by the medical professionals. They are currently in talks with companies to commercialise this kit and hope to launch it in the market within the next three years. As the kit is still in the development stage, they are unable to comment on the price but they will try to make it competitive. SP and TTSH also signed a second Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate in researching new methods for the early detection of infectious diseases over the next three years. Both institutions also announced that a prototype test kit for both the dengue and Zika virus is in the works. Similar story was reported in Shin Min Daily News. Similar story in Lianhe Wanbao mentioned that the MOU also provides internship opportunities for SP’s Diploma in Biomedical Science students to work on genome sequencing and diagnostic kits for infectious diseases such as dengue. It also mentioned that SP students have been involved in the development of the prototype kit for dengue and Zika virus which currently takes three hours to diagnose the virus.