They have begun field testing near-infrared spectroscopy as an alternative to PCR and ELISA for routine pathogen screening in mosquitoes.
The tests are based on Chembio's Dual Path Platform chromatographic immunoassay technology, which can detect antibodies within 15 minutes using fingerstick samples.
The team paired the SHERLOCK platform developed in Feng Zhang's lab with a protocol that detects viruses directly from bodily fluids in less than two hours.
The latest version of the nucleic acid detection platform uses three CRISPR enzymes, making it more sensitive and capable of smaller quantitative measurements.
The device is an electrochemical lateral flow immunosensor test that will initially be used to detect dengue hemorrhagic fever, and later, to assess stroke severity.
The test, which uses an immunochromatography format similar to a home pregnancy test, could enable quick, inexpensive testing for Zika and dengue infections.
The University of Illinois team developed the technology with an eye at low-resource settings, including developing nations and rural communities.
Developers can use the Zika virus samples to ascertain whether their tests can help distinguish Zika infection from similar diseases.
The PCR-based test can simultaneously detect for the Zika virus, all serotypes of the dengue virus, the chikungunya virus, the West Nile virus, and a host gene.
For the three months ended June 30, the point-of-care infectious disease diagnostics firm posted $4.1 million in total revenues, up from $3.3 million in Q2 2016.