[www.inewsguyana.com] – As Guyana moves closer towards being able to test for the Chikunguyna virus, 20 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits have been secured by the National Public Health Reference Laboratory.
The lab’s Director, Dr. Nadira Ramcharran , told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that this is only a portion of the kits ordered. The lab is still awaiting a second batch of these kits along with a batch of dengue Igm ELISA kits.
She noted that the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that both tests should be carried out on individuals who are suspected suffering from the disease as the symptoms are very similar in both diseases. By doing this, any possibility of the patient suffering from dengue will be ruled out.
In addition to the procurement of these kits, the lab is also conducting verification on the samples taken from individuals to ensure that the equipment is working correctly before opening its service to the public.
Quality control samples are expected in the upcoming week from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad and Tobago.
ELISA is a popular format of “wet-lab” type analytic biochemistry assay that uses a solid-phase enzyme immunoassay (EIA) to detect the presence of a substance, usually an antigen, in a liquid sample or wet sample. The Igm kits allow direct identification of current infections.
The Chikungunya virus is transmitted to people by mosquitoes. The most common symptoms of Chikungunya are fever and joint pain with other symptoms likely to be headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.
Outbreaks have occurred in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In late 2013, the Chikungunya virus was found for the first time in the Americas on islands in the Caribbean. It first showed up in Guyana in May in East Canje, Berbice.