The Butantan Institute has developed a pioneering test that will be able to detect leptospirosis at an early stage. Thus, treatment can be started early, improving patients' quality of life.
This will be possible through a protein developed in the laboratory by researchers in Butantan. This new technology has proven superior to the traditional test recommended by the World Health Organization to detect the disease, which identifies antibodies only when the infection is already advanced, which hinders treatment.
According to Butantan, the new test was able to detect the disease in more than 70% of patients who received false negative results in the first days of symptoms. Another positive aspect of the test is that it showed 99% specificity, meaning that it specifically detected antibodies against leptospirosis, without showing cross-reactivity with other infectious diseases such as dengue and malaria.
The test uses a synthetic recombinant chimeric protein called rChi2. It was created by the group of researcher Ana Lucia Tabet Oller Nascimento, from the Butantan Vaccine Development Laboratory.
The study was published in the journal Tropical medicine and infectious diseasesThe researchers filed a patent application in March 2023.
Now, Butantan's goal is to develop a rapid test using the same chimeric protein, similar to the tests being done to detect Covid-19 in pharmacies. However, instead of nasal secretion, it can be collected through urine or blood.
Leptospirosis is an infectious disease caused by bacteria called LeptospiraIt is found in the urine of mice and other animals. It is transmitted to humans mainly through floods or contact with contaminated water. The World Health Organization estimates that about 500,000 new cases occur worldwide each year.
The main symptoms of the disease are fever, headache, and body aches (especially in the calf), and vomiting, diarrhea, and cough may also occur. Leptospirosis can develop into a severe form and affect various organs, especially the liver and kidneys, which can lead to death.
*This content is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), In the United Nations 2030 plan. Goal 3: Health and well-being.
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