NEB Gates lab shot

ICGEB for novel diagnostics in Africa – video

COVID-19: Establishing rapid laboratory diagnostics programs in LMICs” is a project coordinated by the ICGEB and implemented in partnership with reference testing laboratories in Africa. We are pleased to present the video of the project.

ICGEB Member States, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria, have taken part in a pilot study to assess the efficacy of a novel diagnostic tool in diverse settings.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a global threat that entails tremendous opportunities to accelerate research and development, with implications beyond this crisis that could further impact the management of infectious diseases. It is critical that new developments are framed not to widen the technological gap between countries, as a pandemic needs to be controlled locally in order to achieve the global goals.

Diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 currently relies on the reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR), robust technology with high sensitivity and specificity. Even though the mass testing of asymptomatic individuals is of paramount importance in breaking the transmission chain, using RT qPCR entails a heavy workload on health care systems, until vaccines are rolled out effectively and this is even more true in resource-limited settings.

This pilot study, performed during the period September 2020-May 2021, contributed to the accuracy in detecting SARS-CoV-2 in resource-limited settings. It evaluated the diagnostic performance of RT-LAMP in terms of intrinsic (sensitivity, specificity) and extrinsic (positive and negative predictive values) characteristics according to SARS-CoV-2 viral load estimates provided by the conventional RT-qPCR in four LMICs of Sub-Saharan Africa. Results from the study show that RT-LAMP represents a formidable alternative to RT-qPCR.

On the basis of such findings, ICGEB is currently working to expand the initiative to an enlarged number of countries.

We are thankful to New England BioLabs for freely contributing its LAMP technology to the study, and to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for funding the project (INV – 022816).

Watch the video: