Korean, Brazilian researchers develop easy-to-use Zika test kit

By Kim Young-won
  • Published : Jun 2, 2016 - 15:51
  • Updated : Jun 2, 2016 - 15:51
A group of researchers from Korea and Brazil have developed a kit that can diagnose the Zika virus with just one or two drops of blood, according to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning on Wednesday.

The Zika virus, which can be spread by the Aedes mosquito, has swept through large parts of Latin America in recent months. It is blamed for severe birth defects. 

The BioNano Health Guard Research Center, a health care research organization under the Science Ministry, health care firm Genbody of Korea and BahiaFarma of Brazil jointly developed the diagnostic kit that can detect infection of the disease.

The joint research team said the device is as easy to use as a pregnancy test kit since it takes around just 20 minutes to tell whether a person has been infected.

The researchers conducted a series of laboratory tests with the kit, which showed positive results so far, according to the research team.

After finishing clinical evaluation tests in the coming weeks, they will deploy the kit during the 2016 Summer Olympics to be held in Rio in August.

“The research team hopes that the antigen and antibody technologies used in the development of the kit can be utilized for the detection of tropical diseases that could spread down the road and for the development of new vaccine and medicines,” said Bae Pan-kee, a researcher at the BioNano Health Guard Research Center.

By Kim Young-won (