It does the job just as well as lab equipment that costs 100 times more, says the United States Department of Agriculture’s research station at Albany, California.
The researchers say that it is critical to determine toxin activity of Shiga toxin because although the active form poses a threat to humans, the inactive form is nontoxic.
However, current immunological tests cannot distinguish between the active and inactive form of Shiga toxin.
The WRRC system can distinguish between active and inactive toxins, according to USDA chemist Reuven Rasooly, who developed the system.
It involves a $300 camera and a light-emitting source to biologically determine active toxin.
A fluorometer, which typically is used to detect toxins, costs about $35,000.