WHO approved ReEBOV Antigen rapid test kit to identify Ebola-infected patients

Feb 23, 2015 18:46 IST

World Health Organisation (WHO) in the fourth week of February 2015 approved the ReEBOV Antigen rapid test kit for Ebola virus disease (EVD) which can give the result in 15 minutes.

The test kit developed by Corgenix in the United States (US) has been approved for use in West African nations.

The key feature of the rapid test kit is that it can correctly distinguish Ebola infected patients from non-Ebola infected patients. It can identify about 92 percent of Ebola-infected patients and 85 percent of those patients not infected with the virus.

Characteristic Features of ReEBOV Antigen rapid test kit

  • It is quick and easy test which can be used in rural African settings
  • The test simply detects the Ebola protein instead of testing for the genetic material of the virus – its nucleic acid.
  • It is less definitive, but it can correctly identify about 92 percent of Ebola-infected patients and 85 percent of those not infected with the virus.
  • The test is small, cheap and portable but is less sensitive than the gold-standard test that is used to diagnose early-stage Ebola.

Ebola virus disease since its outbreak in Western Africa has claimed more than 6000 lives. The main reason of so many deaths was untimely detection of EVD.

The current available tests takes around four to six hours to detect EVD but delays in transporting samples to labs and getting results back can mean a diagnosis takes several days.

Even though the numbers of cases have fallen but still the rapid test can help in the drive to identify Ebola-infected patients and lead to timely treatment.

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