Now, a method for mobile, instant diagnosis of viruses

Washington D.C.: Recent years have seen the discovery of a new miniature, high-throughput and portable sequencing technique for health purposes of both humans and animals. The device uses mobile laboratories to diagnose viruses such as Ebola or Zika almost instantly, that too, in the field.

The device is both quick and early, avoiding the need to transfer contaminated supplies.

Speaking about it, Roumagnac, a virologist with CIRAD, explains, “The technology is characterised by the production of long nucleotide sequences, which makes it possible to sequence the entire viral genome.”

Notably, CIRAD was one of the first laboratories in the world to test and validate its use in plant virology. “Using a diseased yam plant, it took us just a few hours to sequence the entire genome of two single-strand RNA viruses, a macluravirus and a potyvirus” , his colleague Denis Filloux adds.

Furthermore, the fact that the technique has now been validated in a plant virology laboratory paves the way for real-time, mobile detection of chronic, seasonal or emerging plant viruses, in isolated areas as well.