Sackler Lab member Steve Elledge develops new method to reveal entire history of viral infections in a single drop of blood

Researchers have developed a cheap and rapid test that reveals a person’s full history of viral infections from a single drop of blood.

The test allows doctors to read out a list of the viruses that have infected, or continue to infect, patients even when they have not caused any obvious symptoms.

The technology means that GPs could screen patients for all of the viruses capable of infecting people. It could transform the detection of serious infections such as hepatitis C and HIV, which people can carry for years without knowing.

“Normally, when a doctor wants to know if someone’s been infected with a virus, they have to guess what the virus is, and then look specifically for that virus,” said Stephen Elledge, who led the project at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

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