Researchers develop diagnostic tool for detecting cryptosporidium

phys.org | 2/14/2019 | Staff
elio25 (Posted by) Level 3
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A handheld 'tricorder' that can test for biological contamination in real-time has been the dream of science fiction fans for decades. And UBC Okanagan engineers say the technology is closer to science fact than ever before.

Using a small and inexpensive biosensor, researchers in the School of Engineering have developed a novel low-cost technique that quickly and accurately detects cryptosporidium contamination in water samples.

Cryptosporidium - Pathogen - Causes - Respiratory - Illness

Cryptosporidium is an intestinal pathogen and one of the leading causes of respiratory and gastrointestinal illness in the world. Drinking water contaminated with the parasite can result in diarrhea and, in extreme cases, can even lead to death.

"Current methods for detecting cryptosporidium require filtering large volumes of water, separating out the organisms, staining them with a fluorescence label and trying to identify the pathogen using a microscope," says George Luka, a doctoral student at UBC Okanagan's School of Engineering and study lead author. "The process is extremely slow, expensive and doesn't yield reliable results."

Luka - Need - Fast - Detection - Tool

Luka says there is an urgent need to develop a fast, flexible, accurate and real-time detection tool to meet the challenge of protecting...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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