A portable fever kit for Dengue and Chikungunya

Principal Investigators

Prof Manoj Varma (Associate Professor, Robert Bosch Centre for Cyber-Physical Systems and Centre for Nano Science and Engineering)

Prof J. Stewart Aitchison (Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto and Associate Scientific Director, Network Centre of Excellence, IC-IMPACTS)

Abstract

Fever is a physiological consequence of a number of causative factors ranging from bacterial or viral infections to side effects of medication. There is no comprehensive test kit at present which can simultaneously screen for at least a few of these causes. In this project we aim to build a detection kit that can simultaneously screen for Dengue and Chikungunya in patient blood samples.

Dengue and Chikungunya are major public health problems in many parts of the tropical developing world, caused by infection due to mosquito borne viruses. Efficient and accurate diagnosis of these diseases, particularly, early detection of severe cases, case confirmation and differential diagnosis with other infectious diseases are very important for proper clinical care. Laboratory diagnosis methods for confirming specific viral infection may involve detection of the virus, viral nucleic acid, antigens or antibodies, or a combination of these techniques. After the onset of illness, the virus can be detected in serum, plasma, circulating blood cells and other tissues for four to five days. We are working towards creating a platform where a combination of tests will allow us to differentially screen for Dengue and Chikungnya viruses. The success of this approach will allow us to potentially add other fever causing infections to the system, progressing towards the goal of creating comprehensive fever detection panels.