DxDiscovery begins work on an NIH-funded Phase I SBIR project to develop a rapid diagnostic for pertussis (whooping cough)

Pertussis (whooping cough) is a serious and potentially life-threatening respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. Worldwide, 18.4 million people become ill with pertussis each year, and 254,000 of these patients die. Despite high vaccine coverage in the United States, there were still over 48,000 pertussis cases reported in the U.S. in 2012. Rapid diagnosis of pertussis is critical because treatment and outbreak containment are only effective if initiated early in the disease. Currently, there are no assays that can rapidly and accurately detect early-stage pertussis. The goal of this two-year project is to develop a rapid, point-of-care immunoassay to detect B. pertussis during early disease. This project is funded by a Phase I small business innovation research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. Dr. Amanda Burnham-Marusich and Dr. Thomas Kozel are Co-Principal Investigators on the project, which has a collaborative sub-award component to the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.