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Fast, cost-effective, user-friendly point of care (POC) instrument for detection of respiratory pathogens, including Streptococcus pneumoniae (RESPOC)
Start date: Dec 1, 2013, End date: Aug 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Molecular techniques such as PCR (polymerase chain reaction) are becoming increasingly used for the detection of respiratory pathogens, due to their high accuracy and relatively fast turnaround time (hours). Their utilization can result in early and specific treatment, contribute to better patient outcomes and reduce length of hospital stay. However, implementation of rapid molecular diagnostics remains limited to large, centralised laboratories which can afford the requirements of dedicated PCR laboratory space, specialized personnel and costly equipment and consumables. Even in central laboratories, timely diagnosis may be undermined by delays during sample transport to the setting and batching practices oriented to save consumables. There is a need for a fast, cost-effective, user-friendly molecular diagnostic point-of-care (POC) instrument for near-patient use at small to medium size hospitals, and decentralized clinical laboratories. The RESPOC platform will be a novel solution designed to detect bacterial and viral respiratory pathogens in less than one hour. Based on the development of DNA extraction and DNA amplification methods integrated into a low-cost microfluidic lab-on-a-chip (LoC) consumable, the platform will deliver results automatically by insertion of the disposable LoC into a small footprint reading instrument. Initially it will identify the target respiratory pathogens Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus) and Bordetella pertussis. Pre-clinical validation and demonstration of the RESPOC instrument will be performed at the facilities of the RTD hospital participant and at the facilities of the SME end-users to ensure adequate diagnostic performance and usability.
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