Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Detecting brucellosis in serum samples

Brucellosis is a bacterial-caused disease with a very heterogeneous clinical spectrum with symptoms ranging in severity and often resembling those of the common flu.
Detecting brucellosis in serum samples
Detecting human brucellosis is not a simple task and current methods are limited by prolonged incubation time in case of blood cultures and large margins of error in the case of serological tests above all when these are used in endemic areas. A research team in Spain has developed a new fast and reliable diagnostic for human brucellosis based on serum samples, which lowers the risk of contamination.

The new method is based on the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and can reduce time to diagnosis down to 120 minutes. The PCR method can ensure that bacterial loads can be accurately quantified. Even though PCR-based methods are generally complex and difficult to integrate into hospital settings, this new procedure has been substantially simplified and is easy to standardise. Furthermore, this new approach can be easily adapted for production purposes and a laboratory prototype is ready for demonstration.

There are numerous advantages to early and fault-free diagnosis of brucellosis, which can reduce the risks associated with the disease but also those associated with the wrong treatment. In addition to its other benefits this new method also minimises the risk of infection in laboratory workers by reducing the manual handling steps required.

Researchers are now keen to enter into licensing agreements with suitable industrial partners from the biomedical sector.
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