Corgenix and Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium Release New Findings from Sierra Leone Lassa Virus Program
16 Nov 2012

Corgenix Medical Corporation, a worldwide developer and marketer of diagnostic test kits and the Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Consortium (VHFC) released new scientific data resulting from the consortium’s ongoing studies at the Kenema Government Hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone.

The results, presented this week at the 61st Annual Meeting of The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) held in Atlanta, demonstrated that ELISA diagnostics tests are capable of diagnosing Lassa Fever viruses.

The poster abstract Fevers of unknown origin in a cohort of patients presenting to Kenema Government Hospital, Sierra Leone, suspected of Lassa fever infection was presented by lead author and Corgenix Medical Program Director of Infectious Diseases Matt Boisen. The abstract demonstrated that Lassa fever (LF) assays, such as those being developed by the consortium, can help distinguish patients with LF from those with other illnesses. The LF assay used in the abstract provided the only clear method of differentiating LF patients from those with non-Lassa fevers of unknown origin (FUO).

The second abstract, Demographic and clinical risk factors for Lassa fever in Sierra Leone, found that patients who tested positive for the Lassa Virus antigen using the consortium’s LF assay were more likely to have exhibited the most common LF symptoms compared to patients with other diseases.

“This research provides the first detailed examination of Lassa fever epidemiology in post-conflict Sierra Leone. Through the work of the VHFC, we also find that the availability of good diagnostics and clinical treatment can transform hospitals into sentinel sites, generating samples that can illuminate the spectrum of infectious diseases that continue to claim millions of lives each year across Africa,” said Robert F. Garry, Ph.D., principal investigator for the VHFC.

“The results released this week at the ASTMH meeting demonstrate the significant progress made over the past few years by consortium scientists in expanding the knowledge base of viral hemorrhagic fevers,” said Douglass Simpson, President and CEO of Corgenix. “This is part of Corgenix’ corporate strategy to develop and commercialize testing platforms to identify these deadly viruses. We are continuing to advance several novel diagnostic products, which are already being commercialized in West Africa, and which we expect will be CE Marked and filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make them available globally to address important bioterrorism concerns.”

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