1st Pinoy-made apparatus can detect dengue in patients

Patients in the country could now determine in an hour if they are infected with the dengue virus, after a group of doctors from the University of the Philippines-Manila successfully invented an apparatus as effective as those testing devices used internationally.

Dengue scientist Dr. Raul Destura led the innovation of the device called the Biotek-M Dengue Aqua Kit, according to a report on Balitanghali Weekend by Arnold Clavio.

The apparatus is as effective as those molecular testing devices made in other countries, but is much cheaper.

“‘Yung challenge naminsa research team is papaano kaya maa-access ng Pilipino angisang molecular test nahindikailanganbumili ng ganu’ngkamamahalnamga equipment para patakbuhinang test naito. So angni-create namin ‘yung molecular diagnosis for infectious disease program ditosa University of the Philippines-Manila,” (The challenge for us was how Filipinos could have access to a molecular test equipment that is affordable. This is why we created this molecular diagnosis for infectious disrase program here at the University of the Philippines-Manila.) Destura said.

The National Institutes for Health, the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Health, Biotech-Manila and the Philippine Genome Center also collaborated in producing the equipment.

The Biotek-M Dengue Aqua Kit will be launched as soon as possible in public hospitals in Regions 1, 3, and 6.

The process is simple using the apparatus, and the results could be determined in one hour.

“Itongmga sample naito ay dadalhindoonsa laboratory tap natin at doonililipatsaBiotek-M Dengue Aqua Kit. Pagkataposmakuha ‘yung nucleic acid material, kukunin ‘yan at ililipat ‘yung sample ng either DNA or RNA doonsaBiotek-M Aqua Kit. Pagkatapos ma-extract ‘yung RNA, ito ay ililipatnasaBiotek-M Dengue Aqua Kit solution at ililipatsiyadoonsa isothermal heater. Pagkatapos ng mga 50 minutes kukuninnatin ‘yungmga sample kung saannaminsiya in-incubate at lalagyannatinsiya ng dye. ‘Yung dye na ‘yanangmagbibigay ng reading kung ito ay positive for dengue or negative for dengue,” (A sample is brought to the laboratory tap then to the Biotek-M Dengue Aqua Kit. After we get the nucleic acid material, either the DNA or RNA is then transferred to the Biotek-M Aqua Kit solution. After the RNA is extracted, it is transferred to the Biotek-M Dengue Aqua Kit solution and then to the isothermal heater. After 50 minutes, the sample is then incubated and put in dye. The dye will determine if the person is positive or negative.) Destura said.

If the patient is positive for dengue, the apparatus’ light will turn green.

The training of health care professionals in Luzon for the use of the Biotek-M Dengue Aqua Kit already started in June. Training for Visayas and Mindanao is also expected.

The invention won gold at the 46th International Exhibition of Invention in Geneva, Switzerland held last April.

“Naniniwala pa rinakona mas maraming Pilipino angnagtitiwalasagawa ng mgaPinoy,” (I still believe that more Filipinos trust those that are made by Filipinos.) Destura said. —Jamil Santos/KG, GMA News