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'Rapid tests' target STD-tropical disease combos

New tests that use rapid flow-through technology to detect disease combinations, including HIV and malaria, are an industry first, according to developer.

What's worse than malaria? Malaria with a syphilis shooter. But seriously--a Canadian company has just introduced several "rapid tests" that can instantly detect various combinations of tropical and sexually transmitted diseases.


MedMira this week launched its expanded line of Multiplo rapid tests at the U.S. military's Advanced Technology Applications for Casualty Combat Care Conference in St. Pete's Beach, Fla.

The Multiplo tests will be used to diagnose conditions such as HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis, malaria and dengue fever in various combinations. This combo feature enhanced by, in some cases, instant results, is an industry first, according to the Halifax, Nova Scotia-based developer and manufacturer.

The Multiplo tests use a patented rapid flow-through technology that relies on highly specific antigen-antibody reactions to detect specific disease biomarkers, according to the company literature (PDF).

The procedure calls for adding a specimen to the test cartridge, where it flows through a special membrane coated with disease-specific antigens or antibodies that captures the corresponding biomarker in the specimen.

If the specimen contains the target antibodies or antigens, the results can be view and interpreted immediately, according to MedMira.

The tests are unique in that they can detect multiple diseases using a single cartridge, the company claims. "Our Multiplo line of rapid tests for HIV, Hepatitis B and C use the platform's advanced capabilities to deliver three test results using one test cartridge and one drop of specimen."

Instant results for HIV and dengue? Avoid the rush, book your tropical vacation now.