NIAID is also supporting the development of improved diagnostics to detect Ebola virus infection, including those that can provide rapid identification and can be deployed at the point of care where Ebola virus outbreaks occur. For example, since 2005 NIAID has supported BioFire Diagnostics in developing FilmArray, a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) system. Initial NIAID support focused on the development of FilmArray’s Respiratory Panel, which can simultaneously detect 20 respiratory viruses from patient samples in one hour. Efforts were expanded to include a Blood Culture Identification Panel and a Gastrointestinal Panel. NIAID provided partial support to develop an Ebola diagnostic for the FilmArray instrument, which was granted emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October 2014.
Additionally, with NIAID support, Corgenix Medical Corporation’s rapid immunodiagnostic for Ebola viruses—the ReEBOV Antigen Rapid Test Kit—became eligible for World Health Organization procurement and FDA emergency use authorization in February 2015. The diagnostic can provide results within 15 minutes and is based on direct detection of an Ebola protein, rather than amplification of nucleic acids. NIAID also is advancing development of other types of diagnostics, including those using novel technologies, such as microfluidics, optofluidics, and nanophotonics, which are capable of detecting an array of viruses, including Ebola viruses.