This book illustrates a variety of challenges that bug hunters try to solve. It is an outstanding collection of the insights and expertise of an interdisciplinary group of researchers from all walks of life: virologists, physicians, immunologists, electrochemists, physicists, computer scientists, biotechnologists, epidemiologists, and molecular biologists, all working at the forefront of diagnostics in fields that cross scientific boundaries. Notwithstanding a dire moment as that of the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa that saddens us all, we must more than ever peregrinate across oceans, and take the fight to them, as these invisible and exotic but deadly enemies know no barriers and constantly invade our lives. The coming epidemics and killer pandemics require us to continuously innovate in areas of prevention, detection, and therapy.
The present volume focuses on creating virus alerts or hand-held detectors to bring to the field during an epidemic, when possible, or tools for the healthcare worker to rapidly diagnose the patient’s ailment. The authors describe the conventional cell cultures and molecular biology methodologies, while introducing state-of-the-art multidisciplinary biosensors. This book is not a manual, set of protocols, or a textbook; it is a glimpse into the advances of virus diagnostic research. Included are a variety of topics that encompass world health issues, local folklore such as associating outbreaks with witchcraft, problems in getting healthcare workers to the outbreak areas, and insights in viral diagnostic pitfalls.