Guava Technologies is partnering with several charitable organizations to bring low-cost HIV diagnostics and monitoring to ‘resource-limited nations’:
“Until now, the cost of commercially available CD4 diagnostic testing for patient monitoring has remained very high, and access to affordable, accurate testing methods – especially in areas outside of major urban centers – very low,” said Jeff Harvey, vice president of customer solutions at Guava Technologies. “Multi-site clinical studies suggest that CD4 T cell enumeration conducted on the Guava EasyCD4TM represents a good, significantly lower cost alternative to approved “gold-standard” flow cytometry methods. The Guava assays offer comparable accuracy and reproducibility to flow cytometry-based tests, but are much simpler and up to 20 times more affordable to use. Moreover, the Guava EasyCD4TM system offers the ability to provide a more comprehensive testing system, capable of running additional assays on its easy-to-use, benchtop instrument.”
…Testing requires only 10 microliters of whole blood per patient, making the method suitable for use in pediatric as well as adult patients. The Guava EasyCD4 assay also requires far less reagent per sample than other testing methods, dramatically lowering the overall costs of performing the assay. Moreover, the Guava EasyCD4 assay does not require nearly the amount of dedicated laboratory infrastructure. The system also does not require large amounts of buffered water as sheath fluid that are required by conventional flow cytometers. The elimination of the use of sheath fluid also results in less bio-hazardous waste and significantly further reduces the running costs of using the system. Daily maintenance is minimal – just a fast and easy 5 minute clean and shutdown procedure performed at the end of each day.
Their system of microcapillary cytometry sounds a lot cheaper and simpler than good old flow cytometry. And I suppose the clinical questions this device will answer — are CD4 counts below 200? responding to therapy? — don’t need quite the accuracy that flow cytometry provides.
More at Guava Technologies…