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H2020

FILODIAG Report Summary

Project ID: 115844
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.1.7.13.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FILODIAG (Ultra-Fast Molecular Filovirus Diagnostics)

Reporting period: 2015-02-01 to 2015-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The aim of this project is to provide an ultra-fast and accurate molecular diagnostic platform that can perform a molecular test on the Ebola virus within 10-15 minutes. Patients, suspected of EVD, due to fever and/or other clinical signs, could be rapidly and accurately tested at the Point-of-Care by withdrawal of blood, or less invasive fluids.
The core technology of this project is based on laser-heated nanoparticles (Laser PCR), overcoming the time-limiting step of heating and cooling the reaction sample in conventional PCR allowing for drastically reduced turn-around times. The project partners (GNA Biosolutions GmbH, Istituto Nazionale per le Malattie Infettive, Mendel University in Brno, and Emergency Ong Onlus) have the competence to integrate sample preparation with virus-binding magnetic particles, ultra-fast molecular diagnostics with Laser PCR, test the system in a biosafety level 4 laboratory in Rome, Italy, and conduct thorough field testing.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During the project’s first ten months, GNA's Laser PCR assay has been advanced, and successfully tested with ribonucleic acids isolated from an Ebola virus culture propagated at INMI. The instrument was equipped with a new detection module, rendering the system now much more robust and easy to handle. An improved version of the cartridge design for Laser PCR was produced and tested. Furthermore, surface-modified, magnetic particles were developed for the extraction of virus particles by Mendel University, and tested on whole-Influenza virions, used as a model organism, for their compatibility with the assay.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The ultra-fast detection of the Ebola virus with Laser PCR has been successfully demonstrated. It was shown that a much faster PCR based assay can be implemented, which provides comparable results after a few minutes as compared to conventional methods which typically require 40-60 minutes. Even though at this stage the full workflow has not been integrated yet, the successful proof-ofconcept paves the way for a new generation of molecular diagnostics at the Point-of-Need, providing screening opportunities which can be crucial for containing further outbreaks. Such fast Point-of-Need screening can be pivotal for earlier treatment as patients can wait for their test results and do not need to be tracked.

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