Multiplex Molecular Syndromic testing: Transforming early detection of outbreaks in Africa

Sponsors: bioMérieux
Date: Tuesday, 11 December 2018
Time: 12:30-14:00
Location: Kogi

No invitations necessary; open to all conference registrants

Scientists, clinicans, decision or policy-makers, epidemiologists, biologists

Disease diagnosis in sub-Saharan Africa is highly challenging, in particular in a context characterized by the lack of
appropriate diagnostic tools and limited access to healthcare. This situation is further entangled by the circulation
and co-infections by multiple pathogens that cause general febrile illnesses such as Lassa, Ebola, malaria, dengue
fever, and other vector-borne diseases. As a result, many patients do not receive adequate diagnostic and miss the
opportunity to benefit from timely and appropriate treatment. At population level, many outbreaks are not detected in
timely manner in Africa. Therefore, laboratory-based syndromic testing using new tools can both optimize clinical
outcomes and enhances early disease warning, endemic disease monitoring, or helps to accumulate proof of pathogens

Biomerieux/Biofire Filmarray syndromic molecular testing panels offer one of the broadest coverage of the major disease groups such as respiratory infections, gastroenteritis, meningoencephalitis, blood stream infections
and tropical fever. A typical panel offers a rapid (less than 60 min), broad scope (from 14 to 34 targets) and
includes virus, bacteria, mycosis and markers of resistance. In addition, these panels detect pathogens not
routinely by conventional methods. Finally, their role in detection of co-infections is significant.

During this symposium, three experts from US and Africa that worked in several low income settings will share their
experience in using molecular multiplex testing in the field. In addition, they will highlights the interest of this
near point of care molecular testing in diverse settings (from primary care to tertiary levels of healthcare pyramid)
which can ultimately will reinforce diseases detection within early warning and surveillance systems in Africa.


  • Explain the concept of multiplex molecular syndromic testing and why syndromic testing is a powerful tool for the diagnosis of infectious diseases.
  • Familiarise on how the syndromic testing is going to be used medical practice and early detection of outbreaks.
  • Delineate how molecular syndromic testing optimises patient care and saves healthcare costs.


  • Stephen Obaro, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases-University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • David Boulware, Division of Infectious Diseases and International Medicine, University of Minnesota
  • Christophe Peyrefitte, Institute Pasteur Dakar (Senegal)