Sexually-transmitted infections are an epidemic, particularly among adolescents, that could be managed with routine diagnosis and screening. Currently not practical due to cost constraints, there is a need for rapid and reliable assays capable of panel-testing for multiple infections. To this end, we will develop Multiplexed Encoded Particle PCR (mEP-PCR) assays to accurately and rapidly diagnose multiple sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) with a cost-effective, """"""""one- pot"""""""" test.
The specific aims for Phase I of this project are to (1) identify three multiplex PCR targets for N. gonorrhoeae, C. trachomatis, and positive control genomic targets, (2) optimize a """"""""one-pot"""""""" assay where PCR and hybridization are carried out in the same tube, and (3) demonstrate simultaneous reproducible screening for N. gonorrhoeae and C. trachomatis in a single simulated specimen. This project could also be extended to impact screening for respiratory disease, diarrheal disease, and bioterror agents.
The aim of this project is to develop a technology capable of detecting multiple sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in a single physiological sample with high sensitivity and specificity at a very low cost. This tool will be enabling for rapid, cost-effective diagnosis of STIs.