Hello all I am going to enter the Healthcare innovation contest this year. My idea is based on the fact that the flu virus and other respiratory viruses activate interferon’s that result in cell death by cytotoxic T-cells reducing the cell count in the nasal cavity, and the fact that bacterial infections could have he opposite effect because of the emergence of macrophages to clear the infection. It has also been noted that bacterial infection due to the clearing of mucus secreting epithelial cells is a rare but could cause problems in this test. I am going to preform an experiment to test this hypothesis. I will be using nasopharyngeal, and sputum specimens to preform cell counts on individuals with confirmed influenza, on healthy patients, and on patients with a bacterial infection like strep A. I will preform the cell count with a Wright stain and a high powered light microscope. I will then compare the positive flu sputum to the healthy and bacterial infected sputum, and will do the same with the nasopharyngeal specimens. I will try to get a minimum of thirty samples so that my error rate can be within three significant figures. If my hypothesis is correct this can be used as an at home or field screening tool for respiratory viral and bacterial infections by using the cell phone cytometer developed by by Aydogan Ozcan’s group at University of California, Los Angeles (Anal. Chem., Article ASAP DOI: 10.1021/ac201587a) and described by this article http://www.labtimes.org/labtimes/trick/tricks/2011_05.lasso
My research can also lead to a cheaper method of screening for respiratory viral and bacterial infections by removing the need for costly test kits and instrumentation and instead using already established instrumentation like the iris from iris diagnostic. Some might say that the viscosity of sputum is too great and will clog the instrument but this can easily be overcome with the use of sputolysum.
here is a link to the contest I am entering http://ceshealth.com/