Researchers have created a simple smartphone DNA test that they suggest can accurately detect chlamydia. The findings were recently presented at the 2015 American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo in Atlanta, Georgia.
The battery-powered device is called “mobiLab.” It works by analyzing genital swab samples, where it detects the DNA of Chlamydia bacteria from a microfluidics cartridge.
The device is about the same size as a coffee mug and it is attached to a smartphone. Users can then download the smartphone app and assess the test data.
According to researchers, this new technique will cost $2.00 per test, while the Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT)—which is the current chlamydia-testing method being used—costs around $10.00 per test.
In order to test the device, the team compared the performance against the “Gen-Probe Aptima Combo 2” essay—a NAAT test that is considered to be top-of-the-line for chlamydia testing. Researchers used both tests and analyzed 20 patient samples—10 of which were positive for chlamydia and 10 of which were negative. Both tests were able to correctly determine which samples were positive or negative for chlamydia.
Researchers suggest that mobiLab may be an effective—and cheaper—screening technique and are hopeful more healthcare facilities will offer this testing method to reach a wider population.
It is estimated that about 2.86 million chlamydia infections take place in the U.S. each year and only 1.4 million were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2013.
Source for Today’s Article:
Whiteman, H., “Chlamydia screening easier and cheaper with new DNA smartphone test,” Medical News Today web site, July 30, 2015; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/297483.php.