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New kit for meningitis diagnosis reduces costs


Penélope Toledo (INCQS/Fiocruz)


The technology of diagnostic kit for bacterial meningitis using real-time HRM PCR, coordinated by researcher Ivano de Filippis, of the National Institute for Quality Control in Health (INCQS/Fiocruz), was included in the institution’s Innovation Portfolio. The portfolio contains the innovative results generated by the Foundation. The new kit is being developed with the goal of cutting down costs of molecular diagnosis of bacterial meningitis by up to 80% when compared with tests currently available in the market. The new kit is intended for use at public and, mainly, private laboratories.

“The proposal is innovative due to the use of a single fluorophore to detect the target genes through melting temperature analysis of the bacterial target gene. Each gene detected has a different melting temperature, easily visualized in a graph at the end of the amplification. The system currently used for the diagnosis (Taqman) uses three different probes, at a much higher cost than the qPCR-HRM method”, explains de Filippis. He also emphasizes that although qPCR-HRM is cheaper, its sensitivity, specificity and easiness of reading of results are similar to those of Taqman.

The patent for the kit has its deposit approved in February 2018 in Brazil; in September 2020 it was accepted by the European Community, including the 11 countries in the continent that are not part of the Community, for a total of 38 countries. The patent has also been deposited in China, United States and Canada.

Fiocruz’s Innovation Portfolio conducts a review of innovation in health and hopes to potentialize the social use of these projects by means of partnerships to transfer and incorporate knowledge and technologies in health. The current version, launched in 2014, has more than one hundred projects distributed in technological fields such as vaccines, drugs, social/educational technologies, and health services.

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