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Off topic: Ebola: fast tests being developed - Oct 2014


  • Small device can test for Ebola in 15 minutes Aug 2014
  • CEO of the company had previously lead the team that made the 800 pound gorilla of testers in the past which are now used in CDC facilities
  • The price for the device is $3,000 to $5,000 and the cost of a test per patient is about $25 dollars.
  • Research paid by Homeland Security - and updated Oct 10, 2014
  • Microfluidics provides Real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) chemistry
  • Unfortunately it is not (currently) expected to be at airports for 2 years
  • Apparently PCR test can detect Ebola with good confidence 3 days AFTER symptoms
  • Larger PCR testers NYT
    3 /1000 false positives (incorrectly saying that Ebola was present),
    4 / 1000 false negatives (failed to detect Ebola)
  • Unknown: # of testers needed to test say 600 people per hour. 100?
  • Hopefully it is now on a fast-track to get deployed soon.
  • Testing of pre-symtomatic Ebola patients published in Lancet (2000) is interesting (reported in NYT Oct 12, 2014)
    4/11 false negatives, 0/13 false positives -
    Thus some infected people would be missed - but about 60% would be detected - Which is far better than if there were no testing
A different Ebola test using just a few drops of blood is being tried in Africa (also 15 minutes)

Dr. Bob Garry is a Virologist who previously developed the test for the Lassa virus
CNN interview of Dr. Garry Oct 10, 2014
Nanomx is developing the test - which can be also distinguish between Lassa, Ebola, and Dengue viruses
Nanomix_AACC_poster.pdf download from VitaminDWiki

Dallas Hospital Had the Ebola Screening Machine That the Military Is Using in Africa Oct 16
  • It’s a toaster-sized box called Film Array, produced by a company called BioFire, a subsidiary of bioMérieux
  • PCR in under an hour, costs about $39,000
  • Current FDA guidelines would not have allowed Dallas Presbyterian Hospital to get that kit. (for Ebola)
  • But unless hospitals agree to use the machine specifically for research purposes, rather than actually diagnosing patients with Ebola, they can’t look for Ebola in samples.
    UPDATE Oct 25: FDA permits Film Array use to test for Ebola.- emergency authorization


Ebola eZSCREEN being developed in France - 15 minute test in Africa end of Oct?


Ebola tester which uses essence of blood cells in paper - 30 minute test

Harvard Press Release Oct 23
no electricity needed, very low cost. tests blood or saliva
Press release has extensive descripiton, a video, study published in the journal Cell
Early prototype: no ndication of accuracy (false positives or false negatives)
No indication of how injectious a person must be, (typical PRT tests apparently are not accurate until 2nd day of symptoms)

This item (with attachment) is in Vitamin D may protect against Ebola - more information

Off topic: Ebola: fast tests being developed - Oct 2014        
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