ENP Newswire -
Release date- 22072014 - A new transformative point-of-care diagnostic which gives instant results for the detection of genetic material from the HIV virus is being rolled out across
The small, highly portable machine - known as SAMBA II - will help transform the lives of millions, especially HIV exposed infants who have a one in two chance of early death if HIV infection is not diagnosed within the first six weeks of life and if they are not immediately initiated on treatment.
Already available in
Developed by Diagnostics for the Real World, a spin-out company from the
SAMBA II makes use of innovative technology to offer an effective sample-in-results-out test without the need for centralised laboratories or specialist technicians. It integrates the whole testing process within a single instrument using ready-made disposable cartridges. Easy to read results are obtained in less than two hours and indicated by a simple blue line similar to a pregnancy test.
Until now nucleic acid based HIV tests have taken many hours to perform and required specialist facilities and highly-trained personnel. The necessity of transporting samples over long distances to centralised laboratories creates numerous logistical problems including long delays. In the meantime, many patients may be lost before they can be initiated on treatment. By bringing rapid testing to the point-of-care, SAMBA II solves these difficulties.
In addition to delivering accurate Early Infant Diagnosis from a small 'pin-prick' blood sample, SAMBA II is also designed to measure the level of HIV in the blood. Often described as the 'holy grail' of HIV diagnostics, rapid decentralised testing of HIV genetic materials has proven elusive but is vital in early detection of resistance to treatment.
The development of SAMBA is a remarkable story of triumph over adversity and the pursuit of a single goal by a determined team of scientists and engineers. Speaking as SAMBA II machines were being prepared for their journey to
Finding organisations willing to support such a long-term project - particularly one uncompromisingly focused on resource-limited settings where profit could never be a reality - was essential to the project.
Another vital partner is
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