Will there soon be an application to detect the Zika virus?


It may soon be possible to self-test against the Zika virus, with your smartphone…

Will we soon be able to do a self-test and get a result quickly against the Zika virus? This promise, to easily know if you are affected by the disease transmitted by the tiger mosquito, without having to go through a laboratory, could be kept thanks to a small box to be connected to your mobile phone, reports the Institute for Genomic Biology in Illinois.

As a reminder, Zika was first identified in Uganda in 1947. It resembles other tropical diseases such as dengue fever, chikungunya and yellow fever. In general, those affected do not show symptoms, or those of the flu, which makes it rather innocuous. But in some cases, it can be very dangerous: it is dreadful for fetuses whose mother is infected. It is therefore essential to be able to detect it as quickly as possible in this audience.

A system to clip on the camera of the smartphone

Researchers have therefore developed an innovative system to easily detect it, in the form of a cartridge with different fluids, in which a drop of blood is placed. A second device attaches to the smartphone via the camera, and allows the camera to observe the reaction of fluids in contact with the blood sampled. Depending on what color it takes, when the cartridge heats up (automatically) to 65 degrees to perform the test, it indicates whether it is positive or negative.

A green light floods the fluid if the virus is present, allowing the phone to give the result. The application can, in 25 minutes, complete the blood analysis. A test barely longer than HIV or Covid-19 self-tests.

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