TyphGen; A Better Point Of Care Diagnostic For Typhoid Fever

Team Members: Sharon Bright Amanya, Rendani Manenzhe, Brenda Nakandi, Brian Nyiro, Joshua Obura
School: Makerere University


Typhoid remains a major public health threat in Uganda contributing to 36% of all fever-related illnesses. It was responsible for the outbreak that affected over 1,000 individuals within Kampala city in 2015. Typhoid is a curable disease with good treatment outcomes if the diagnosis is made early. However, in Uganda there are major challenges with diagnostics. The most widely used test (Widal test) has low accuracy (5.7%) and the World Health Organization has discouraged its use, while the gold standard test (Bacterial culture) takes several days to produce results, is expensive and not readily available. This ultimately leads to delay of appropriate treatment, long waiting hours and inappropriate use of antibiotics that could potentially lead to drug resistance. The Big Idea is to develop TyphGen, a point of care diagnostic that uses DNA detection techniques to diagnose Typhoid in 90 minutes with >90% accuracy at an estimated cost of $12 per test.