Columbia River Fish Health Center laboratory

There are a number of existing technologies. The only kits that allow testing at home look indirectly for pathogens by looking for their respective antibodies in urine. These tests have a frighteningly low accuracy due to limitations with the technology, and that the body might not yet be producing antibodies in sufficient number, giving false negative readings.

The other technology is used by clinics and provides highly accurate readings. This technology identifies specific sequences of DNA in a sample. We are interested in a sequence of uniquely human DNA to validate the test, and sequences of DNA that are unique to each pathogen (biological and viral).

Laboratory methods copy selected DNA sequences many fold, amplifying the quantity of those specific DNA sequences in the sample. This allows small samples to be used, such as one might collect on a slide. Conventionally this technology requires a sequence of specific temperatures to be delivered to the sample and reagent mixture, and is performed in specialised thermal cycling machines.

Newer technology allows this effect to be accomplished using enzymes at room temperature. This project will develop a product that combines this newer technology with other existing technologies, ie to identify the presence of amplified DNA, to use colour change to signal that presence, and to bond reagents to a slide.

Manufacturing is expected to be performed by a contract manufacturer.