In DepthInfectious Diseases

Testing new Ebola tests

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Science  26 Sep 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6204, pp. 1549-1550
DOI: 10.1126/science.345.6204.1549

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Summary

As Ebola continues to rage in three West African countries—and projections for the epidemic's growth look increasingly dire—health officials are hoping they will soon have an additional tool to fight the disease: an easy-to-use, fast, and inexpensive diagnostic test for the responsible virus. Several teams are working on prototype kits—small disposable devices resembling home pregnancy tests—that use just a few drops of blood from a fingertip jab and can be carried easily to remote villages or on door-to-door screening campaigns. At least two of the potential diagnostics will undergo their first field trials in Guinea and Sierra Leone in the coming weeks.