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. 2018 Jun 13;23(6):702-704.
doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2018.05.016.

Cutting-Edge Infectious Disease Diagnostics With CRISPR

Free PMC article

Cutting-Edge Infectious Disease Diagnostics With CRISPR

Charles Chiu. Cell Host Microbe. .
Free PMC article


Three recent Science articles (Chen et al., 2018; Gootenberg et al., 2018; Myhrvold et al., 2018) describe the use of CRISPR-Cas technology to develop point-of-care diagnostics that directly detect viruses from clinical samples. These tests could radically transform approaches to diagnosing infectious diseases at the bedside and in the field.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Schematic for Rapid Molecular Diagnostic Testing Using CRISPR-Cas-Based Technology Guide RNA molecules are constructed to target specific pathogens or tumor cells (for cancer screening). After collection of clinical samples in a point-of-care setting, such as the patient bedside, medical office, hospital ward, or in the field, the CAS12a- or CAS13-based assay can be performed directly from the sample in under 2 hr, without the need for a separate DNA or RNA extraction step. Note that the Cas12a protein targets dsDNA, while Cas13 targets RNA. After activation of the Cas12a or Cas13 protein, indiscriminate cleavage of fluorescent ssDNA probes for Cas12a or ssRNA probes for Cas13 produces a detectable signal. There are numerous potential applications for CRISPR-Cas-based assays, as listed on the right and described in the text.

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