This is a collaborative research project between Thomas Quinn, MD, MSc, Professor and Director of Johns Hopkins University Center for Global Health and Valentina A Feodorova, PhD, Professor & Head, Department of Zooanthroponotic Diseases, Saratov Scientific and Research Veterinary Institute of the Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Saratov, Russia.
This is a sponsored project under the DHHS Biotechnology Engagement Program (BTEP) which is sponsors cooperative biomedical research between US scientist with the former Soviet Union (and now Russia and the N. Eurasia) on polio, influenza, diphtheria, radiation health effects, and more recently, tuberculosis, and other dangerous pathogens such as West Nile encephalitis and chlamydia infections. These are shared public health challenges that do not respect geographic borders. At the request of sister Departments (State and DOD), HHS has developed a State-Department funded Biotechnology Engagement Program (BTEP) to "engage" Russian and N. Eurasia former biologic weapons scientists in collaborative research on applied high-priority public health problems. Biologic agents, particularly in the hands of terrorists are a mounting concern for public health agencies at Federal, State and local level. HHS views this as a public health problem (not just military) and for which we must exercise leadership.
This BTEP Project is devoted to the development of reliable rapid immunodiagnostic test for laboratory diagnostics of the Chlamydia infection of urogenital tract (CIUT) based on two ELISA modifications, namely dot-ELISA on a nitrocellulose membrane (NCM) and immuno-chromatography (ICG). The ELISA-based methods are chosen because: i) they are significantly less expensive than the methods of molecular diagnostics; ii) the results are rapid (the duration of the analysis is in the range of 30-90 min); iii) the methodology is simple and does not require the use of special costly equipment and trained personnel and can be performed in any poorly equipped laboratory; iv) the tests can be used both for a large-scale examination of human samples (dot-ELISA) and by patients themselves at home (ICG).