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Multiviral Pathogen Detection System to Revolutionize Rapid Infectious Disease Diagnosis and Tracking

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 22 Jun 2022
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Image: Dragonfly is a cost-effective point-of-need portable diagnostic system for infectious diseases (Photo courtesy of ProtonDx)
Image: Dragonfly is a cost-effective point-of-need portable diagnostic system for infectious diseases (Photo courtesy of ProtonDx)

An innovative molecular testing technology platform designed to rapidly and simultaneously detect and differentiate multiple pathogens with high sensitivity and specificity is poised to help revolutionize rapid infectious disease diagnosis and tracking worldwide.

ProtonDx Ltd.’s (London, UK) Dragonfly is a portable, rapid diagnostic system that is able to identify multiple viral pathogens at the point of need. This revolutionary approach allows severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), influenza A virus (IAV), influenza B virus (IBV), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human rhinovirus (HRV) to be detected in a single test. Using proprietary ultra-fast nucleic acid extraction, and isothermal colourimetric detection, the system achieves PCR equivalent sensitivity and specificity in less than 30 minutes from sample to result.

The Dragonfly diagnostic system incorporates the proprietary SmartLid sample preparation system to yield high purity DNA and RNA, enabling highly sensitive and accurate pathogen detection. The sample is added to a test panel, incubated, and the result can be captured and stored for traceability by the associated Dragonfly application. Dragonfly is a scalable platform with the flexibility to readily support detection of additional pathogens using the same core technology.

Dragonfly is uniquely suited for infectious disease testing in healthcare settings where portability and quick access to accurate results can support timely treatment decision-making, helping to minimize unnecessary antibiotic use. It is also suitable for use in care homes, the workplace, at sporting and entertainment events, and for travel where testing prior to close contact can avoid disruption and minimize risk to health and wellbeing. The system was successfully employed by Team GB at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The Dragonfly system has received a CE-IVD Mark and complies with the European In-Vitro Diagnostic Devices (IVDD 98/79/EC) which means it is commercially available as an in vitro diagnostic tool in Europe.

“We are excited to be delivering an independent infectious disease identification and testing capability for use when confidence, portability, ease-of-use and immediacy are a real priority,” said Robert Enck, Chairman and President of ProtonDx. “With Dragonfly, we are pleased to offer a proven testing solution that delivers certainty, irrespective of location, in these testing times.”

“The Dragonfly system has been designed specifically to detect and differentiate multiple pathogens simultaneously with confidence,” added Dr. Jesus Rodriguez-Manzano, co-founder and CSO at ProtonDx. “From a simple respiratory swab with minimal handling, high quality nucleic acids are extracted and provide results equivalent to gold standard laboratory-based PCR, outside of the lab environment at the point-of-need. The Dragonfly system also validates that the sample has been taken and tested correctly to provide added confidence.”

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