Highly sensitive isothermal method and instrument for field diagnostics to facilitate malaria eradication

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41AI129130-01A1
Agency Tracking Number: R41AI129130
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: NIAID
Solicitation Number: PA16-303
Solicitation Year: 2016
Award Year: 2017
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2017-08-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-07-31
Small Business Information
E7279 STATE ROAD 170, Colfax, WI, 54730-4728
DUNS: 830768912
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (561) 297-4424
Business Contact
Phone: (715) 505-4123
Email: kencolfax@hotmail.com
Research Institution
 777 Glades Road
Boca Raton, FL, 33431-6424
 Nonprofit college or university
Plasmodium falciparum is the most virulent form of malaria causing million deaths per year Success with patient treatment and a malaria eradication campaign depends significantly on our ability to detect new infections as early as possible in the field rural areas including asymptomatic cases preferably using a small amount of blood e g from a finger prick and to clearly discriminate between current new infection and past infections Our ultimate goal is to build an inexpensive device that will be fully operational in the field with minimal training and capable of highly sensitive and selective identification of new malaria infections We propose a three phase study with the Phase I current proposal focused on identification of the appropriate molecular targets and the development of a sensitive method of target detection that would discriminate between current and past infections This project will be performed by Cascade Biosystems Inc in collaboration with scientists from Florida Atlantic University Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences Tanzania and Uppsala University Sweden The detection approach is a recently developed technology that is based on a cascade of enzymatic reactions catalyzed by restriction endonucleases RCEA restriction cascade exponential amplification RCEA can detect attomolar concentrations of target DNA comparable in terms of sensitivity to quantitative PCR more importantly it is isothermal and does not require complex instrumentation or expensive reagents In the Phase I we will adapt RCEA for the diagnostics of malaria Specific Aims of the Phase I of the proposal are designed to demonstrate a proof of principle the ability of RCEA approach to detect malaria at high sensitivities comparable to qPCR and to discriminate between current and past infection Aim Identify appropriate molecular targets for detection of P falciparum infection in culture using the RCEA approach and compare sensitivity of the RCEA detection to the standard qPCR approach Parasites growing in culture will be used to simulate and test a wide range of parasite densities Milestone The RCEA assay developed specifically for detection of malaria targets in l of human blood comparable to qPCR in terms of sensitivity Aim Determine the potency of the developed RCEA assay for various gene targets to detect current and past infections in field samples Field samples with various parasitemia will be tested for diagnosis of malaria using methods established in Aim Various time points between current and past infection will be simulated using mixtures of samples from untreated and drug treated patients Milestone the standard operation procedure for detection of current malaria infection by the RCEA Successful completion of these aims will provide a proof of principle and a strong basis for the Phase II i development of a fully integrated device based on electrochemical signal detection for field application of the developed RCEA assay and ii the device testing in the field in malaria endemic areas This in turn will be the basis for the Phase III focusing on miniaturization and commercialization of the device Project Narrative This project will adapt a novel and highly sensitive DNA diagnostics technology for early detection of the most virulent form of malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum The focus of our project will be to develop a low cost and field deployable assay for early detection and discrimination between current and past malarial infections Successful completion will provide a basis to develop a fully integrated small sized hand held device for point of care applications and for field surveys to facilitate efforts with malaria eradication

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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