Simple microfluidic system for rapid and robust identification of pathogens by real-time PCR at point-of-care

Principal Investigator: Michel G. Bergeron
Theme : Health
Competition : Genomics research in human health - translational stream
Status : Completed
Start : Oct. 1, 2010
End: Sept. 30, 2012
Budget : $2,000,000.00

While in vitro diagnostics comprise less than 5% of healthcare costs, their results influence as much as 60-70% of healthcare decision-making. In order to make proper therapeutic decisions, doctors need rapid in vitro diagnostic tests. Unfortunately, diagnostic microbiology is extremely slow and requires a minimum of 36 to 48 hours to identify the microbe(s) responsible for an infection. Hence, infectious diseases are managed empirically, favouring the overuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics, the development of resistance, and complications such as Clostridium difficile diarrhoea, which lead to increased death and healthcare costs.

The researchers from the Centre de recherche en infectiologie (CRI) of Université Laval were the first in the world to develop less than one hour DNA-based tests to identify microbes that cause meningitis in newborns and other resistant microbes responsible for severe hospital infections thus saving many lives. Five of these tests are now approved by FDA, made in Québec City in a brand new manufacturing center which hires 350 employees, and sold worldwide by Becton Dickinson (BD), the largest diagnostic company in the world.

With strong support from Genome Canada and Génome Québec, the CRI has been able to assemble, in the last 10 years, a transdisciplinary group of researchers in genomics, bioinformatics, infectious diseases, physics and chemistry to develop a simple single step microfluidic centripetal device (MCD) platform in the shape of a compact disc (CD) that reads DNA instead of music and will allow the identification of microbes at point-of-care (at bedside, in hospitals, in the delivery room, in intensive care units, in doctors office, in emergency rooms, in pharmacies, at home for self-testing, in battle fields or even in space). The first DNA-based test to be developed will be for the identification of Group B streptococci in the vagina of women during labour in the delivery room, to prevent meningitis in newborns.



Denis Boudreau Université Laval
Teodor Veres NRC Industrial Materials Institute