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Global Health Challenge:


There are more than 520,000 new cases of cervical cancer and 265,000 related deaths annually. More than 85% of cases and deaths due to cervical cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries where cervical cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death among women. Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the cause of virtually all cervical cancer. HPV vaccines have been developed to protect against HPV, however one challenge in implementing them in LMICs is a lack of medical records. Without a patient’s medical history, a doctor may choose to vaccinate eligible women without knowing their vaccination status. This can lead to vaccination of individuals who have previously received the vaccine. Vaccination of individuals who have already been immunized will drastically reduce the cost efficacy of vaccination programs. Currently, HPV immunization status can be determined using assays that traditionally require sophisticated laboratory equipment.


Innovative Solution:


Recently, groups have reported instrument free multistep assays for performing immunoassays at the point-of-care. Utilizing this method, we have developed an equipment-free assay for detecting antibodies to HPV in a finger prick sample to rapidly determine HPV immunization status at the point-of- care. The test requires 20 microliters of blood and takes 30 minutes to run.


Current Staus and Next Steps:


This test is currently being evaluated in a 50 patient pilot study in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine. The goals of this study are to determine the ability of the Rice Rapid HPV antibody test to detect HPV-specific antibodies due to vaccination and to determine if the amount of storage time of the whole blood has an impact on performance of the Rice Rapid HPV antibody test.

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