GEORGE TOWN: A group of Universiti Sains Malaysia researchers have invented a rapid molecular test kit for the detection of cholera bacterial DNA, which is less time consuming, easy to use and environmentally-friendly. The product, known as EZ Cholera Genostick test kit, went through four years of research by the School of Health Sciences. The team, which was led by lecturer Dr Lim Boon Huat and six researchers, and funded by a varsity grant of about RM200,000.
Dr Lim said the product uses refrigeration-free reagents to detect DNA from a sample, which allows the user to see the DNA results on a dipstick with a naked eye.
"The DNA results are presented in a similar fashion to a pregnancy test, where it is shown as red lines on a white membrane.
"The presence of three red lines on the dipstick indicates a valid positive result, while two red lines indicate a valid negative result," Dr Lim said yesterday.
One of his researchers, Dr Chua Ang Lim, was also present.
The test kit had won the gold award at the Malaysia Bio Inno Awards last year.
Dr Lim said apart from cholera bacterial DNA, the technology adopted by the test kit could be modified to detect other pathogenic organisms.
"The technological design has been filed for a Malaysian patent.
"We are in the process of discussing with various parties that have shown interest in our product."
Obviously, USM, this few years, has put a lot of effort in research. Its research team has got some results from their hard work. I'm feel glad after hearing this news - Malaysia, at least, has some results in healthcare research.