Scientists to develop new rapid test in fight against sexually transmitted infections

Dec 09, 2010

Scientists from the University of Southampton have secured funding to develop an ultra-rapid sexually transmitted infection (STI) detection system for clinics that can detect STIs in under 15 minutes.

The Client (Clinic-based Infection Examination through Nucleic acid Technologies) detection system will use short fluorescently-labelled , called HyBeacons®, that are able to detect sections of DNA sequence with a genetic variation that identify the presence of an STI .

The technologies are being developed by scientists from LGC, a leading chemical and biological analytical services and reference materials company, working in collaboration with the University of Southampton and OptiGene, who will refine and manufacture the desktop amplification device and assay (a test to find and measure the amount of a specific substance) for rapidly testing genetic markers for detection of STIs.

The scientists have received substantial Technology Strategy Board funding to develop clinical equipment, based on LGC's HyBeacons® technology, that can detect STIs in under 15 minutes.

The project brings together researchers from across the University of Southampton with interests in development of novel molecular probes (Professor Tom Brown from the Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences), the biology of chlamydia (Ian Clarke, Professor of Molecular Microbiology from the Faculty of Medicine) and development of point-of care molecular testing (Dr John Holloway from the Faculty of Medicine).

Professor Ian Clarke says: "The combination of LGC and OptiGene together with the University of Southampton is a unique partnership between industry and academia. It brings together the critical components necessary for the development of a novel, sensitive, accurate and extremely rapid point of care test that will revolutionise STI diagnostics."

Professor Tom Brown is working with LGC to produce a new generation of more powerful fluorophore molecules (a component of a molecule which causes it to be fluorescent) to enable the HyBeacons probes to detect STIs with greater accuracy and speed.

The Chlamydia Research Group, based in the University's School of Medicine who work closely with the HPA regional laboratory based at Southampton General Hospital, will use universally-conserved sequences from sexually transmitted bacteria as a basis for developing the Client tests. This team will also lead the collaboration in the design of the Client testing kits.

Dr Paul Debenham, LGC's Director of Innovation and Development, adds: "The goal of this project is to achieve a significant step forward in the fight against . Simple, rapid testing, in the order of a 15-minute turnaround, will result in a significant step-change in the efficacy of STI treatment. LGC is extremely excited about the possibilities of this new near-patient diagnostic service."

Explore further: Firm recalls caramel apples amid listeria fears

Provided by University of Southampton

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Inexperienced prostitutes most at risk of sexual infections

Dec 12, 2008

Less experienced prostitutes are more likely to have sexually transmitted infections (STIs). A study of more than a thousand female sex workers in Cambodia, reported in the open access journal BMC Infectious Diseases, has sh ...

Chlamydia that avoids diagnosis

May 21, 2009

New sequencing and analysis of six strains Chlamydia will result in improved diagnosis of the sexually transmitted infection. This study provides remarkable insights into a new strain of Chlamydia that was identified in Sweden ...

Taking the sex out of sexual health screening

May 09, 2008

Young women would accept age-based screening for the sexually transmitted infection chlamydia, but would want this test to be offered to everyone, rather than to people ‘singled out’ according to their sexual history.

Recommended for you

Firm recalls caramel apples amid listeria fears

17 hours ago

A Missouri firm is recalling its Happy Apple brand caramel apples because of the potential that they could be contaminated with listeria. The recall comes after at least three deaths and at least 29 illnesses in 10 states ...

Sierra Leone bans Christmas parties amid Ebola

Dec 24, 2014

Alice Marke and her family aren't celebrating Christmas the way they used to: The deadly Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone means no festive parties at the beach, no carolers singing at night.

Fourth UN staff contracts Ebola in Liberia

Dec 24, 2014

A fourth member of the UN mission in Liberia, the country hardest-hit by the Ebola epidemic, has been hospitalised after testing positive for the virus.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.