The test kits were patented by scientists at the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) of Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun State in southwestern Nigeria. According to the university, the kits are able to detect the virus in human body fluids in 10 minutes.
Debo Adeyewa, the Vice Chancellor, said that the school had established a network of pathogens hunters in Nigeria and Africa by training scientists in the field of genomics. He made this known during the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on infectious disease surveillance and control between the ACEGID and the Lagos State government.
He also noted that the partnership was to strengthen the capacity of the Lagos state government in infectious disease diagnostics and epidemics preparedness.
“Redeemer’s University ACEGID researchers discovered two novel Rhabdoviruses (EKV-1 and EKV-2). The centre also developed and patented two rapid diagnostic test kits for diagnosis of Lassa fever virus or Ebola virus in biological fluids. The World Health Organisation and the United States food and drug agency have approved the Ebola virus RDT for use during epidemics,” Adeyewa said.
Speaking at the event, Jide Idris, Lagos state commissioner for health, said that the need for the state to build up its research capability in disease surveillance, diagnosis, prevention, control and elimination of infectious diseases led to the signing of the MOU.
The NIH Human Heredity, the Health in Africa program and the World Bank supports the institution. It also has extensive collaborations with academic, clinical, and research institutions in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Senegal, and partners with Harvard University, the Broad Institute, and Tulane University