CSIRO leads 'quantum' step towards Hendra detection
The CSIRO has published findings that detail the outcome of a study that promises to lead to a faster, simpler way to detect the virus.
Current detection methods are mainly lab-based and require samples to be shipped to state or national testing labs. CSIRO's tests have shown that this new method can deliver a positive or negative test result, under lab conditions, within 30 minutes. The hope is this can be reduced to ten minutes in the future, making portable detection a reality.
The CSIRO team tested three new detection methods, finding that by using quantum dots - which increase the sensitivity of current analytics methods - they were able to simplify the detection process to the point where a portable detection device is now possible.
"The early detection of viruses, such as the Hendra virus, will greatly enhance the success rate of any biosecurity counter measure," Dr Paolo Falcaro, CSIRO Research Scientist and leader of the joint research team, said.
"Further optimisation of the system is required, but this study is a proof-of-concept of the possibility to implement this method in a portable Hendra virus sensor that could be used at the point of care. The most exciting aspect to this technology is it could be used to detect any other virus by simply targeting the virus with the corresponding antibody."