Islamabad - A team of researchers here has developed a paper-based disposable device that will allow dengue-specific antibodies to be easily detected from saliva within 20 minutes.

The rapid diagnostic kit can detect a key dengue antibody from saliva that is present in early-stage secondary infection, said researchers from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN).

“The ability to differentiate between primary and secondary dengue infections makes it a valuable early diagnosis tool that would help to ensure timely treatment and proper care of patients,” explained professor Jackie Y. Ying, executive director of IBN.

The new device is capable of detecting IgG, a dengue-specific antibody found at the onset of secondary infections, directly from saliva in one step.

To make the device, the IBN researchers used an innovative stacking flow design to overcome key challenges faced by existing lateral flow designs such as those used in pregnancy test kits.

The diagnostic kit can also be adapted to detect other infectious diseases such as HIV and syphilis, the researchers noted.

They are also investigating the use of other common fluid samples, such as blood, urine and serum for rapid, high-sensitivity test kits.