Zika field test uses CRISPR/Cas9 to distinguish between Zika strains

Pardee, K. et. al., Cell (2016), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2016.04.059, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27160350

Zika has proven challenging due to its close relation to other viruses such as Dengue. Pardee et al have developed a low cost field test that couples isothermal RNA amplification with toehold switch RNA sensors to detect Zika.  The assay provides a quick readout using a colorimetric change of the sensor.  By adding in a CRISPR/Cas9 component the researchers were able to provide an assay that can even distinguish between strains of Zika with single-base resolution.  Development of these types of tools should help researchers efficiently determine how quickly the Zika virus is spreading.

Author: Advanced Analytical

Advanced Analytical Technologies, Inc. (AATI) simplifies complex genomics workflows to accelerate research and discovery in pharmaceuticals, life science, biofuels, biotechnology and healthcare.

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