Field-deployable anthrax detection

Developed at Sandia National Laboratories, BaDx is a credit-card-sized pathogen detector used to identify Bacillus anthracis (anthrax). Unlike previous anthrax diagnostic tools that required 1–10 million spores for a proper reading, BaDx is able to detect the bacteria with as few as 100 spores.

BaDx allows animal and public health professionals to enhance diagnostic capabilities in clinics, homes, and hospitals through regular testing of naturally occurring outbreaks. Because of the device’s simple and cost-effective design, the overall frequency of anthrax field tests has the potential to increase. BaDx’s ease of use helps those in low-resource environments, where the supplementary infrastructure once needed for anthrax diagnostics (e.g., laboratories) is substandard or nonexistent. Those who were deterred from regular testing due to cost constraints are now able to perform more frequent diagnostics, as BaDx’s cost is about one-third that of other available anthrax tests.

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