CRISPR TyphoidDx project: a GCRF-funded project addressing novel molecular diagnostics for typhoid fever. This is a public health concern in Cameroon, with an estimated 45,000 cases and 580 deaths in 2016. Clinical management is hampered by non-specific symptoms combined with slow and inaccurate diagnostics. Mboalab contributed to the development of a proof-of-principle DNA-based assay that distinguishes S. Typhi from S. Paratyphi, which could be manufactured in Cameroon (using locally made Bst-LF and Cas12 enzyme) and with a reagent cost of <$1 per reaction. This project developed novel biosensor technology to enable low-cost optical detection of nucleic acids using the LAMP-Cas12 system. Developed diagnostics consist of a one-pot enzymatic assay producing pigment from a low-cost chromogenic substrate enabling the use of lower-cost sensing hardware through visible light. Another important work initiated this year consists of broadening the scope of possible target pathogens to develop similar diagnostics for other infectious diseases. These use the same technology including Streptococcus agalactiae. In addition, access protocols for expressing, purifying, and handling Cas12 using local resources as a diagnostic platform are currently being developed as part of the project
RT-LAMP project: Researchers at Mboalab are currently involved in the validation of an
open-source COVID-19 testing method developed by Scientists at the Vienna BioCenter. We have worked closely with the team at the Vienna BioCenter to validate the open-source RTLAMP protocol as a local production and distribution partner of the enzyme needed for the diagnostic, functionality testing and working on the QA/QC framework that will be put in place during the project.