By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.MAY 6, 2016
A paper-based test can diagnose a Zika virus infection within a few hours. Credit Wyss Institute at Harvard University
A paper-based rapid test for the Zika virus was introduced on Friday by a consortium of research groups.
The core of the test kit is a piece of paper covered with yellow dots that turn purple in the presence of Zika virus RNA. Although the test is relatively fast and simple, it requires preliminary heating to amplify a sample’s RNA, which can be done in most laboratories.
The test, which gives results in two to three hours, “is much faster and cheaper than the P.C.R. tests used now,” said James J. Collins, a bioengineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who is one of the test designers. Read more