The World Health Organization recently approved the first rapid blood test for Ebola detection. The ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test can provide 92 percent accurate results within 15 minutes, as opposed to current tests that take from 12 to 24 hours.
Ebola is currently tested in laboratories largely through the detection of the virus’s genetic material. These tests are more accurate but are complex to use and require well-established laboratories and fully trained personnel.
The ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test, which is based on detection of the Ebola protein rather than its genetic material, is able to correctly identify about 92 percent of Ebola infected patients, and 85 percent of those not infected with the virus.
While less accurate, the antigen test is rapid, easy to perform and does not require electricity – it can therefore be used at lower health care facilities or in mobile units for patients in remote settings.
The new test, developed by US-based Corgenix, will allow those infected to be identified, isolated and cared for as quickly as possible in an attempt to bring an end to the outbreak that has killed more than 9,300 people.