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icddr,b scientists invent low-cost cholera test kit

  • Published at 10:43 pm March 12th, 2019
Cholkit cholera in sample courtesy
Incepta-produced Cholkit is now being used in 22 cholera sentinel surveillance sites across Bangladesh Courtesy

The kit is more accurate than other rapid diagnostic kits for the disease

icddr,b scientists in partnership with Incepta Pharmaceuticals have developed a locally-produced testing kit for quick and effective diagnosis of cholera.

The kit has been named Cholkit, and is being priced around US$3, a press release from icddr,b said on Tuesday.

In a field evaluation, published in the scientific journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, the kit was tested on 7,720 samples, and was found to have (true positive) of 76% and specificity (true negative) of over 90%, both higher than those of similar rapid tests.

The kit took three years to research and develop, the press release said.

Cholkit is a dipstick that is dipped into a tube with stool specimen and changes colour within a maximum of 15 minutes’ time.

In Bangladesh, at least 66 million people are at risk of cholera, with nearly 110,000 cases reported annually with many more mild and asymptomatic cases in the community, icddr,b said.

Dr Firdausi Qadri, a scientist in the Infectious Diseases Division at icddr,b led the development of Cholkit.

“Historically, all seven cholera pandemics have originated from this part of the world. Management of cholera outbreaks depends on early detection of cholera cases. Presently, in addition to laboratory tets, imported rapid diagnostic test kits are being used for cholera detection,” Firdausi said.

“Now, Bangladesh has a locally-produced RDT,” she added.

Rapid tests are crucial in preventing outbreaks of the disease, due to the costly and lengthy nature of the lab test, the release said.

The Incepta produced Cholkit is now being used in 22 cholera sentinel surveillance sites across Bangladesh which are managed jointly by icddr,b and Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control And Research (IEDCR), it said.

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