New 15-minute Test for Ebola to Undergo Trials in West Africa

A new test designed to rapidly diagnose Ebola virus infection is to be tried out at a treatment centre for the disease in Guinea, international health charity The Wellcome Trust said on Friday.

Researchers developing the 15-minute Ebola test say it is six times faster than similar ones currently in use and, if it proves successful, could help medical staff identify and isolate confirmed Ebola patients faster and start treating them sooner.

The trial, led by researchers at the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal, and funded by Wellcome and the UK government, will use a “mobile suitcase laboratory” — a portable lab the size of a laptop computer with a solar panel, a power pack and a results reader, which is designed for use in rural areas of poor countries where electricity is often in short supply.