via University of Oxford
Scientists have developed a world-first diagnostic test, powered by artificial intelligence, that can identify known respiratory viruses within five minutes from just one nasal or throat swab.
The new diagnostic test could replace current methods that are limited to testing for only one infection, such as a lateral flow test for COVID-19, or otherwise are either lab-based and time-consuming or fast and less accurate.
The new virus detection and identification methodology is described in a paper published in ACS Nano, authored by DPhil student Nicolas Shiaelis and Professor Achillefs Kapanidis from the Department of Physics, and Dr Nicole Robb from the University of Warwick who is a Visiting Lecturer at Oxford’s Department of Physics.
The paper demonstrates how machine learning can significantly improve the efficiency, accuracy and time taken to not only identify different types of viruses, but also differentiate between strains.
Nicolas Shiaelis and Dr Robb collaborated with the John Radcliffe Hospital to validate the new method. The ground-breaking testing technology combines molecular labelling, computer vision and machine learning to create a universal diagnostic imaging platform that looks directly at a patient sample and can identify which pathogen is present in a matter of seconds – much like facial recognition software, but for germs.
Preliminary research demonstrated that the test could identify the COVID-19 virus in patient samples and further work determined that the test could be used to diagnose multiple respiratory infections, within five minutes and with over 97% accuracy.
Dr Robb and Nicolas Shiaelis founded Pictura Bio, a University of Oxford spinout, that now licences the technology. They are now looking for further investment to accelerate development and get it to the front line of healthcare.
‘Our aim at Pictura Bio is to turn the method into a diagnostic test by creating a dedicated imager and single-use cartridge for use in point-of-care testing, with limited input from the user. We are also expanding the number of viruses that the models are trained on and will eventually start looking at other pathogens, such as bacteria and fungi, in respiratory samples, blood and urine.’
Dr Robb said: ‘Cases of respiratory infections this winter have hit record-breaking highs, increasing the number of people seeking medical help. This combined with the COVID-19 backlog, staff shortages, tighter budgets and an ageing population puts the NHS and its workforce under immense and unsustainable pressure.
‘Our simplified method of diagnostic testing is quicker and more cost-effective, accurate and future proof than any other tests currently available. If we want to detect a new virus, all we need to do is retrain the software to recognise it, rather than develop a whole new test. Our findings demonstrate the potential for this method to revolutionise viral diagnostics and our ability to control the spread of respiratory illnesses.’
The Latest Updates from Bing News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
Respiratory virus test
- Dogs are coming down with an unusual respiratory illness in Oregon, other US states
Veterinary laboratories are investigating an unusual respiratory illness in dogs, and are asking people to take precautions to keep their pets healthy ...
- What to know this week about flu and COVID vaccines as respiratory virus season begins
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s most recent Flu Watch report, which covers the week of Nov. 4 to Nov. 11, influenza levels are increasing but lower than expected for this time of ...
- Busier hospital reflects respiratory illness season
There are more people being admitted to hospital than usual, especially in the Whitehorse area, as the early-arriving respiratory illness season ramps up.
- Sudbury area records first confirmed case of influenza virus
The flu season is underway in the Sudbury area. Public Health Sudbury and Districts said the season’s first confirmed case of influenza virus has been reported within its service area, which takes in ...
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus on the Rise: A Winter Warning for Parents
Stay vigilant as Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) cases surge, posing risks to children and vulnerable adults.
Go deeper with Bing News on:
- She vowed to clear strangers’ medical debt in a posthumous viral post
Since her diagnosis in 2019, Casey McIntyre befriended dozens of other cancer patients who, unlike her, had piles of medical debt as they underwent treatment.
- Mom, 38, announces her own death from ovarian cancer, goes viral for last wish
McIntyre was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2019 after complaining of swelling of her abdomen, her husband says. It turned out to be severe ascites, or the build-up of fluid in the space between the ...
- Shane MacGowan health updates — The Pogues singer’s wife shares message after icon’s devastating encephalitis diagnosis
THE Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan’s wife has shared a photo of the Fairytale of New York singer in the hospital along with a message of “love and prayers” to those who are ...
- Viral video shows prophet telling late footballer diagnosed with heart problems to disregard medical advice
A prophet has captured online attention due to his interaction with the late SuperSport United goalkeeper, George Chigova, who was recently confirmed to have passed away.
- What is Shane MacGowan’s illness viral encephalitis?
WIFE of music icon Shane MacGowan has revealed her husband is in hospital with viral encephalitis. The Fairytale of New York singer has been in intensive care for months after being diagnosed with ...