iGEM Thessaly 2019

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the 10 deadliest diseases worldwide, causing around 1.3 million deaths in 2017 and nearly 3.6 million people are left undiagnosed each year. Once Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which causes the disease, dies in a patient’s lung, it releases DNA fragments into the bloodstream, and these eventually appear in urine. We developed a diagnostic test that detects these fragments by targeting the Mycobacterium specific gene IS6110. After 4 rounds of amplification including isothermal amplification, in vitro transcription/translation of a toehold switch and a colorimetric readout enabled by b-lactamase, the results can be visualized by naked eye. We envision to incorporate these multiple amplification steps into a test based on our ‘’2tubes Philosophy”. Our design can be easily implemented for several diseases due to its universality and modularity. Because TB is a leading health threat for populations affected by crises, our test is destined to be applied in refugee camps in Greece, as well as worldwide, taking a step towards achieving universal health care.

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