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A Single Test Could Detect Almost Any Virus

October 10th, 2017

A Single Test Could Detect Almost Any Virus

A Single Test Could Detect Almost Any Virus

Washington University School in St. Louis researchers have devised a test that can detect any virus (in both animals and humans). The results of this groundbreaking research were published in the peer-reviewed journal Genome Research.

Viral infections are common in both animals and humans. There are hundreds of viral infections and accurate detection and diagnosis can take up so much time, energy and money. This research can revolutionize the way viral infections are detected and diagnosed.

Details Of The Study About The Test That Detect Any Virus

Zika Virus And Sexual Transmission image

Viral agents that occur at or on the human body, causing diseases are referred to as virome. The research team atWashington University School have developed a test that employs enhanced sequencing of virome, a procedure that efficiently identifies viral agents that are present in very small doses within the human body.

With the help of this test, it will become very convenient to diagnose the unexpected outbreaks of viruses such as SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), Marburg, Rotavirus, Ebola, and Norovirus. In fact, in all the situations where it is hard to say what might have caused the infection or symptoms are not suggestive of a particular condition, this test can save time and money to expedite the treatment process.

This test is being referred to as ViroCap, and is as sensitive as PCR (polymerase chain reaction) at detecting viruses that are not identifiable with ordinary or standard techniques. PCR is considered as the gold-standard test; but investigators believe that ViroCap is superior as unlike PCR that detects only 20 genomic sequences or similar viruses at any given time, ViroCap can detect any virus. This finding has been established after studying 2 million genomic sequences of virtually every viral agent that is known to mankind; including HIV and Herpes.

It has also been observed that ViroCap is 52% more effective than traditional or standard tests that are available today at detecting viral infections


  • Wylie, T. N., Wylie, K. M., Herter, B. N., & Storch, G. A. (2015). Enhanced virome sequencing using targeted sequence capture. Genome research, 25

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