June 12, 2018
A platform that can diagnose several diseases with a high degree of precision using metabolic markers found in patients’ blood has been developed by scientists at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in Brazil.
The method combines mass spectrometry, which can identify tens of thousands of molecules present in blood serum, with an artificial intelligence algorithm capable of finding patterns associated with diseases of viral, bacterial, fungal and even genetic origin.
The research was supported by the São Paulo Research Foundation – FAPESP and conducted as part of Carlos Fernando Odir Rodrigues Melo’s PhD. The results have been published in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology.
“We used infection by Zika virus as a model to develop the platform and showed that in this case, diagnostic accuracy exceeded 95%. One of the main advantages is that the method doesn’t lose sensitivity even if the virus mutates,” said Melo’s supervisor Rodrigo Ramos Catharino, principal investigator for the project. Catharino is a professor at UNICAMP’s School of Pharmaceutical Sciences (FCF) and head of its Innovare Biomarker Laboratory.