Objective: Infectious diseases are global health challenge, impacted the
communities worldwide particularly in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic.
The need of rapid and accurate automated systems for detecting pathogens
of concern has always been critical. Ideally, such systems shall detect
a large panel of pathogens simultaneously regardless of well-equipped
facilities and highly trained operators, thus realizing on-site
diagnosis for frontline healthcare providers and in critical locations
such as borders and airports. Methods & Results: Avalon Automated
Multiplex System, AAMST, is developed to automate a series of
biochemistry protocols to detect nucleic acid sequences from multiple
pathogens in one test. Automated processes include isolation of nucleic
acids from unprocessed samples, reverse transcription and two rounds of
amplifications. All procedures are carried out in a microfluidic
cartridge performed by a desktop analyzer. The system was validated with
reference controls and showed good agreement with their laboratory
counterparts. In total 63 clinical samples, 13 positives including those
from COVID-19 patients and 50 negative cases were detected, consistent
with clinical diagnosis using conventional laboratory methods.
Conclusions: The proposed system has demonstrated promising utility. It
would benefit the screening and diagnosis of COVID-19 and other
infectious diseases in a simple, rapid and accurate fashion.
Clinical and Translational Impact Statement
— A rapid and multiplex diagnostic system proposed in this work can
clinically help to control spread of COVID-19 and other infectious
agents as it can provide timely diagnosis, isolation and treatment to
patients. Using the system at remoted clinical sites can facilitate
early clinical management and surveillance.
- clinical diagnosis
- polymerase chain reaction (PCR)