Article by Puttarin Kulchaitanaroaj
& Chawitar Noparatvarakorn
Melioidosis and Novel
Melioidosis is a lethal tropical disease. Current diagnostic tools such as bacterial culture (a gold standard) and indirect hemagglutination (IHA) are not sensitive enough to detect melioidosis and it takes 3–5 days to provide results. This may be too long to save lives because 39% of infected could die in 2 days. Novel diagnosis tools for melioidosis with better accuracies in a timely manner are important to provide appropriate treatment and potentially save lives.
Dr. Narisara Chantratita, Dr. Chawitar Noparatvarakorn, and their team have been studying melioidosis and developing novel diagnostic tools for melioidosis! With financial support from MOTIP seed funds in 2019 and 2021 as well as launching business developing workshops and coordinating with a MOTIP team along their journey, the researchers have passed a series of development stages - from the introduction of an innovative idea to establishing a prototype, validation and, eventually, application for approval of the real products. Recently, they also established a company for the commercialization.
MUTM Melioidosis Antibody Test
The first product is a rapid test, namely Hemolysin co-regulated protein 1 immunochromatography test (Hcp1-ICT). It is an antibody-based test that takes only 15 minutes to obtain the results. Currently, this test is approved by the Thai FDA and it can be ordered for use!! The use of this test provides a diagnostic accuracy of 87.5% sensitivity, 95% specificity, 94.6% positive predictive value, and 88.4% negative predictive value.
Melioidosis Real-time PCR Kit
Another test, called Melimo, is a melioidosis real-time polymerase-chain-reaction (PCR) test kit providing rapid and reliable solutions for identifying Burkholderia pseudomallei. The test kit comes with a ready-to-use master mix, primers, probes, and controls. Its user-friendly design streamlines user workflow for efficient and error-free testing with diagnostic accuracy of 89.6% sensitivity and 96% specificity. It is now ready for the market. We hope that those innovations can bring betterment to tackle this disease and save more lives.
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