Get to know what we are fighting for
Infectious diseases remain the leading causes of death in Africa, while non-communicable diseases are on the rise. Improving detection and prevention tools, especially in areas far from health care centres, is an important measure to reduce the growing burden of these diseases.
About DIDIDA diagnostic tests
What is a lateral flow test?
Lateral flow tests are a fast, reliable and low-cost tool for disease testing. A sample (often as a swab or a drop of blood) is taken from the patient, and placed in a well on a small device. The fluid from the sample then flows naturally up a strip of dedicated paper. If protein or nucleic acid (DNA or RNA) of a disease are detected, a line of bright colour appears. A second line confirms that the test has worked. These tests are comparable in their operation to a pregnancy test.
Are these tests reliable?
Some lateral flow tests can detect the disease before it has had a chance to infect the person enough for their immune system to mount a strong enough response to attack it. DIDIDA will develop tests that detect disease even when patients are symptomless.
Since the Covid pandemic, these tests have proven effective, especially on a large scale. The results are reliable. Incorrect results are often due to improperly collected samples or a faulty device.
What will DIDIDA's technology achieve?
DIDIDA will develop an improved lateral flow test capable of detecting multiple diseases at once. The technology starts with a receptacle that is sealed after the sample is collected to reduce the risk of contamination. The test also relies on a small heating system. This is a simple isothermal amplification method called loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP). By amplifying, the test is able to detect the DNA or RNA of a disease. This innovation allows for community-based testing in remote locations without access to health infrastructure.
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