Release date: 2010-08-23

The Queen's University of Belfast published a press release on August 16th stating that the school has partnered with the Belfast Social Health Trust to develop a new diagnostic method that allows rapid diagnosis of meningitis within an hour. According to the communique, this breakthrough invention is crucial to saving children's lives in time.
Meningitis is a very serious condition that can cause death or permanent brain damage within hours if treatment is not timely. However, because the primary symptoms of meningococcal infection are the same as those of other viral infections, it is difficult to diagnose at an early stage. Traditional diagnostic methods take one to two days to produce results. Therefore, before the test results come out, doctors usually take antibiotics for all suspected patients.
According to the communique, the new diagnostic method is called "circulation-mediated isothermal expansion method", which uses a molecular technique to detect a gene of all meningococcal strains. The new instrument developed in this way is similar to a household portable printer, and only requires a blood sample of the test subject or a secretion such as saliva to quickly detect whether or not it has meningitis, and the result can be obtained within one hour. Compared with traditional molecular diagnostic techniques, the new diagnostic technology is not only quick and easy, but also easy to operate, and does not require professional laboratory personnel to complete, so it is expected to become a simple and easy clinical test.
Professor Mike Shields of Queen's University in Belfast pointed out that there is currently no other way to diagnose meningitis in such a short period of time. The rapid diagnosis allows the doctor to develop a treatment plan as soon as possible, not only saving the patient's life in time, but also preventing the occurrence of sequelae such as deafness and cerebral palsy.
According to the communique, the research team won the British Health and Safety Committee Award in June for this innovative invention.

Source: Technology Daily

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