Scientific reports 2017 05 027(1) 1347 doi 10.1038/s41598-017-00758-9
The most performing techniques enabling early diagnosis of infectious diseases rely on nucleic acid detection. Today, because of their high technicality and cost, nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT) are of benefit only to a small fraction of developing countries population. By reducing costs, simplifying procedures and enabling multiplexing, paper microfluidics has the potential to considerably facilitate their accessibility. However, most of the studies performed in this area have not quit the lab. This letter brings NAAT on paper closer to the field, by using clinical samples and operating in a resource-limited setting. We first performed isothermal reverse transcription and Recombinase Polymerase Amplification (RT-RPA) of synthetic Ribonucleic Acid (RNA) of Ebola virus using paper microfluidics devices. We further applied this method in Guinea to detect the presence of Ebola virus in human sample RNA extracts, with minimal facilities (carry-on detection device and freeze-dried reagents on paper). RT-RPA results were available in few minutes and demonstrate a sensitivity of 90.0% compared to the gold-standard RT-PCR on a set of 43 patient samples. Furthermore, the realization of a nine-spot multilayered device achieving the parallel detection of three distinct RNA sequences opens a route toward the detection of multiple viral strains or pathogens.