Project Objectives and Outcomes

TicKitqPCR project integrates in the general objectives of the Programme PN-II-PT-PCCA-2013-4, ensuring premises for a close cooperation among research-development units, universities and small industrial units, in an innovative field both at international and national level. Also, the project’s aims are in agreement with the first objective – to obtain original products and advanced technologies that will be internationally competitive and will have a major socio-economic impact.

Moreover, development and improvement of vector-borne diseases control strategies represents a prioritary research concern in international scientific media as well as in FP7 research programme.

The project has five objectives:

  •  elaboration of some Real-Time PCR rapid detection and identification methods for Borrelia burgdorferi sl., Francisella tularensis, TBEv, and CCHFv (biosafety level agents 2, 3, and 4);
  • realization of a identification kit for the aforementioned pathogens, using Real-Time PCR;
  • conduct some preliminary screening studies for those pathogens in Romania, in vector populations (ixodid ticks), livestock, and human population at risk (permanent residents or personnel returned from theatres of military operations).
  • dissemination of results through participations to scientific conferences and publication of papers in ISI indexed journals.
  • prepare the documentation for a patent on the designed kit.

The project aims to develop rapid RT-PCR detection methods, which will be grouped in a single kit dedicated to detect four of the most important tick-borne pathogens. The pathogens will be detected simultaneously (in spite of the fact that their genome composition is different – DNA and RNA), starting from the same biological sample.

The developed methods will enable us to conduct for the first time in Romania a preliminary study on the prevalence of the four pathogens in samples from different regions of the country.

A major expected output is to define new methods combining molecular biology approaches, microbiology specific procedures, and bioinformatics in order to produce a multiplex Real-Time PCR kit for detection and identification of Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., Francisella tularensis, TBEv and CCHFv in vectors (ixodid ticks) and human population at risk (eg. military personnel).

Basically the end product of the project will be a Real-Time PCR detection kit with broad addressability.

In the last phase of the project, some screening studies with the designed kit will be made, on vector tick populations and human population (permanent residents or personnel returned from the theatres of military operations).

The theoretical and practical knowledge gained from the project will be disseminated by articles submitted for publication in ISI quoted and other peer-reviewed journals, as well as through communications at national and international profile conferences and symposia. This will further raise the authoritativeness of Romanian research within the scientific communities.

The knowledge obtained from the project, for which commercialization rights are applicable, will be protected by a patent for which the documentation will be submitted in the last phase of the project. The patented product will be exploited by the enterprise partner who will be able to commercialize the kit but also to use it in its own diagnostic laboratory. Both actions will increase its business’ visibility quotient, potentially leading to an upsurge of its revenues.