Researchers in Northern Ireland have developed a groundbreaking test for meningococcal meningitis that can detect the disease in one hour.
Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP), uses a molecular method to detect the genes which are common in all strains of meningococcus, according to researchers at Queen’s University Belfast and the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.
The test has the potential to save lives through early detection, as traditional tests take 24 to 48 hours produce results.
The testing device resembles a portable home printer. Once a blood sample or saliva is fed into it, the device produces a colour reading that can be used to determine if an individual has meningitis.
The device is currently being trialled at the Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children in Belfast.
Meningococcal meningitis is life-threatening disease caused by bacteria, in which the thin lining surrounding the brain and spinal cord is affected.