Rapid Detection of Hepatitis C Virus Using CRISPR/Cas
Piyush K. Jain, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Florida Department of Chemical Engineering, has received a grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to develop an early stage, paper-based point-of-care test to detect the Hepatitis C virus.
In 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated 71 million people had chronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) but 81% of the living patients were unaware of their infection status. In 2016 alone, an estimated 399,000 HCV-related deaths were reported by WHO. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that between 2013-2016, around 2.1 million people were infected with HCV within the U.S. and only a fraction of them were diagnosed properly.
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“Rapid and reliable detection of early-stage HCV would allow quicker intervention and can significantly reduce the risk of death and infection rate,” said Dr. Jain. “An innovative self-testing diagnostic platform for early detection of HCV RNA using engineered type V and VI CRISPR/Cas systems can be created.”