Research Paper

Researchers Improve Low-Cost Zika Virus Examination Tool

We all are aware of the concerns related to the Zika virus. In order to deal with the outbreaks of Zika virus, few countries have deemed the use of pesticides so strong that they are prohibited in other countries. But wouldn’t it be easy if by some means it is possible to detect whether the mosquito is carrying Zika virus or not? Then surely, the price of extensive spraying for mosquitoes and the usage of dangerous pesticides can be prevented, isn’t it?

The research team from the Colorado State University is utilizing an existing technology with a new approach. The team has illustrated a technique of biosurveillance that rapidly points out whether Zika virus is there in the local mosquito population. This can help to take a decision whether to spray the pesticides and also about other disease-preventing ways.

Researchers Improve Low-Cost Zika Virus Examination Tool

With the use of the existing technique, i.e., loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), the researchers established that they can simply determine Zika virus in mosquito and human samples from Brazil, Nicaragua, and the United States. This technology is quite similar to polymerase chain reaction, which offers an extremely sensitive examination of DNA samples. However, LAMP can be utilized in the field rather than a laboratory and also, it is less expensive.

In order to use the polymerase chain reaction technique, the scientists initially require to extract the RNA from the sample. On the contrary, the method is easy with LAMP. By LAMP, the scientists have to initiate by crushing a mosquito in the water. Then they take 2 µl of water, place it in a tube, and heat it with the use of some reagents or chemicals. Then the sample may appear cloudy and the solution’s color alters.

In the study conducted by the Colorado State University, the research team observed a change within 30 minutes; however, sometimes it can also take up to 1 hour. As general cost estimation, the team said that a heat block or heating device, as it is known, for LAMP can cost $250 or even less. However, the real-time PCR devices cost ranges from $15,000 to $25,000.


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