March 13, 2018 3:21 pm
Updated: March 13, 2018 8:35 pm

University of Calgary develops glucometer-like device to test for infections

WATCH: Researchers at the University of Calgary have found a way to test for infections faster and easier. The technology works like the device used by those with diabetes to check blood sugar. As Lisa MacGregor reports, it will especially benefit Alberta farmers.


University of Calgary researchers say a new device based on the simple glucometer used by diabetics should make it easier to test both humans and animals for infections.

The U of C Faculty of Veterinary Medicine study has resulted in the development of a portable and inexpensive way to test people and animals for chronic and infectious diseases.

Associate professor Jeroen De Buck said the new method tests for signals of infection in blood, milk or saliva samples.

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“A cow infected with bovine leukemia virus produces antibodies as a response,” De Buck said, explaining how the device could be used to identify illnesses in animals.

“Our biosensor will detect the antibodies in a pinprick of blood. The enzyme will make glucose proportionately to the antibodies that can be instantaneously measured.”

He says the device would do away with the need to send blood samples away to a lab.

Instead, a veterinarian or medical profession could determine if there is an infection.

De Buck says a prototype of the device is being developed and will be tested by veterinarians.

He says the application currently requires 20 to 30 minutes to come to a diagnosis, but he’d like that reduced to a couple of minutes.

– With a file from Global News

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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