BioDetection Instruments receives NIH grant to detect waterborne pathogens
Cryptosporidium is a parasite that is one of the most frequent causes of waterborne disease among humans in the U.S. The parasite can be spread in several different ways, though water is the most common transmission method, Global Biodefense reports.
The NIH Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) Phase I grant will provide BioDetection Instruments with $150,000 to develop an automated cartridge assay to detect viable Cryptosporidium oocysts at the sensitivity level required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for drinking water monitoring.
While current EPA methods can detect the presence of oocysts, they cannot determine if the spores are alive or infectious. The new cartridge will quickly provide quantitative results for living oocysts using a simpler testing method.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cryptosporidium is found in every region of the U.S. and throughout the world. Parasitic protozoa are responsible for 21 percent of all waterborne illnesses.
BioDetection Instruments is actively working on the detection of other viable waterborne disease-carrying protozoan parasites, Global Biodefense reports.