Researchers from the University of Helsinki have developed a novel diagnostic method coined RFS (Rapid FRET serodiagnostics) for the rapid on-site measurement of antibodies from patient samples.
This technology could revolutionise the serodiagnosis of microbial, autoimmune and allergic disorders.
Now this team of researchers have applied the new concept for diagnostics of coeliac disease.
Screening of coeliac disease is recommended for patients with, for example, gastrointestinal coeliac patients. The screening test involves measurement of disease-specific antibodies from a blood sample.
The researchers gathered samples from 70 coeliacs at the Kuopio University Hospital, half from children and half from adults. Control samples from healthy donors were also collected. The samples were measured using the new assay and results compared with two currently used methods.
“The performance of the test was comparable to that of current methods. The prevailing method involves transporting the sample to a central laboratory and a multi-step procedure taking hours. With the new method, results can be achieved in less than half an hour by simply combining the sample and a reagent mix, waiting for a while and reading the result.”, Juuso Rusanen, MD, explains. He continues:
“We hope our rapid method could lower the threshold for screening of coeliac disease and thus help overcome the vast underdiagnosis of this relatively common condition.”
“Additionally, this is the first time the new method has been used for diagnostics of autoimmune disease. This is a promising result, and prompts the development of similar tests for diagnostics of other autoimmune disorders“, Rusanen points out.