Mug-size device detects chlamydia in 30 minutes

Mug-size device detects chlamydia in 30 minutes

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University in the United States have made a portable device that detects chlamydia in just 30 minutes. Called the mobiLap, it is the size of a coffee mug.

Chlamydia, which can develop into pelvic inflammatory disease and damage a woman’s reproductive system, often shows no symptoms and can be hard to detect.

Researchers stress the importance of early detection, saying pelvic inflammatory disease from chlamydia can cause infertility, debilitating chronic pelvic pain and ectopic pregnancies.

Doctors have used nucleic acid amplification testing (NAAT) to screen the DNA of chlamydia bacteria. But NAAT is more complex and expensive.

However, mobiLap, which has a DNA and data processing unit using a microfluidics cartridge, is cheaper and quicker. While the previous test costs up to $10, the new device’s microfluidics cartridge costs less than $2.

Scientists tested the mobiLap genital swab samples of 20 patients to check the device’s efficiency. MobiLap produced the same results as the gold-standard test, the Gen-Probe Aptima Combo 2 assay.

Scientists now hope the device will detect more people with chlamydia.

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