Cystic Fibrosis: A diagnostic test soon available for everyone?

While neonatal screening is still waiting in Quebec, research shows that a way to detect Cystic Fibrosis, theoretically more effective than laboratory tests, could be done from smart phones at home. Thanks to a device, it would suffice to deposit a little sweat on the device to know the result.

How is it possible? If there is a suspicion of Cystic Fibrosis, a « sweat test » is often the first test done. This test analyzes the salt content of sweat: a high salt content is an important indicator of the possible presence of CF. This is caused by a gene that causes the production of a dysfunctional protein called CFTR (Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane conductance Regulator).

According to Charline D., Pharmacist collaborator of Santé sur le net, « the interest of the test elaborated by the American team is its selectivity, by the specific study of the chloride thanks to a dye (citrate base) emitting a fluorescent light . The higher the chloride levels in the sweat, the lower the fluorescence, ie more chloride, less light! Another advantage of this test is the possibility to use it for different pathologies that have abnormal levels of chloride in the urine, the blood or the cerebrospinal fluid (biological liquid in which the brain bathes) such as metabolic alkalosis , Addison’s disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). »

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