Dengue virus (DENV), a mosquito-transmitted RNA virus, can cause human hemorrhagic fever, shock and even death, in severe cases. DENV has also been documented as a blood transfusion-transmitted virus. AABB's Transfusion-Transmitted Diseases Committee has recently identified DENV as a high-priority emerging infectious agent with potential risk of transfusion transmission in the United States. Currently, there is no blood screening measure conducted for DENV. Detection methods for DENV in most clinical and research laboratories are nucleic acid amplification assays and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). The cost for nucleic acid amplification is high and ELISAs are time-consuming. Therefore, developing an inexpensive, fast, and sensitive test for detection of DENV is crucial to reduce the risk of transfusion-mediated infection and improve timely surveillance. Driven by this need, in this project, we will develop a gold nanoparticle-based, rapid, sensitive and cost-effective label-free Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) assay for selective DENV detection in blood. We expect this SERS assay will reduce the reagent cost to 1/10th the cost of nucleic acid amplification assay and detection limit can be below 10 viruses /ml. Furthermore, the SERS assay can be developed into an automated screening assay, which is suitable in blood screen facilities.
Dengue virus can cause dengue hemorrhagic fever, which is the most important mosquito-transmitted viral infection of humans, poses threats to the general human population, including recipients of blood transfusions. In this project, we will develop a gold nanoparticle-based, rapid, sensitive and cost-effective assay for Dengue virus detection in blood.