Major Infectious Diseases
Product or technological
HIV/AIDS mortality is due to opportunistic illnesses or infections that take advantage of the weakened immune system in the infected individual. In Africa, the most common of these opportunistic illnesses include infection by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) responsible for tuberculosis (TB). HIV coinfection with M.tb has negative implication for disease management given that each pathogen accelerates the morbidity caused by the other. Effective management of patients infected with both pathogens is restricted by the fact that their diagnosis are done separately. The situation is more difficult in remote areas where patients have to wait for much longer to obtain their TB diagnostic results.
Dr. Kabamba Alexandre is a senior scientist at the CSIR Bioscience Unit Array Printing Technology Platform where he works on the development of microarray based technologies for application in diagnostics and high throughput screening for novel drugs discovery. He holds a PhD in Virology, a MSc in Medicine and a BSc with Honours in Medical Biochemistry from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. The pilot study for this innovation will address these limitations by developing a point of care multiplex microarray technology for simultaneous detection of HIV and M.tb in blood. This solution will reduces time and costs associated with the diagnosis of these diseases. The microarray-based diagnostic technology involves the detection of antibodies against HIV p24 antigen, as well as antibodies against M.tb antigens ESAT6, CFP10, apa and pstS1 that together are markers of active TB. This technology will be complemented by the development of a portable, battery powered and low-cost fluorescence reader medical device for detecting antibodies against these antigens at the point of care.