Soil-transmitted helminthiasis infects 1.5 billion people globally. The prevalence and persistence of these parasitic worm infections stem from poor sanitation infrastructure and a lack of affordable diagnostic tools. LABYRINTH, a helminth detection system, implements low-cost hardware devices, biosensor toehold switches, and software analysis to diagnose helminthiasis. Using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model organism for infectious helminths, LABYRINTH isolates and lyses helminth eggs using a frugal filter and homogenizer. Biosensor cells detect C. elegans by targeting the F59G1.6 gene with an RNA toehold switch. If transcribed, the toehold switch activates GFP expression, indicating the presence of helminth eggs in the sample. The FluoroCents app quantifies fluorescence and maps this data onto a cloud-based service, enabling health organizations to efficiently allocate targeted anthelmintic medications. LABYRINTH has the potential to improve the quality of life for over a billion people worldwide by illuminating the chronic nature of helminthiasis and increasing the affordability of diagnostics.
people have contracted helminthiasis today alone.
Best Public Education and Engagement
Best Integrated Human Practices