Padmapriya P. Banada, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine
room W210-N

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Dr. Banada’s work focuses on the 1) development of highly sensitive molecular diagnostics for pathogens; and 2) SARS-CoV-2 virus detection, inactivation, propagation, and clinical diagnostics. Her team is exclusively focused on improving sensitivity of direct detection from the sample matrix without the need for pathogen enrichment. Together with Dr. David Alland, Dr. Banada’s research contributions have led to several commercially available TB diagnostic assays from Cepheid (Xpert MTB/RIF assay and Xpert MTB ultra) and FDA-EUA authorized SARS-CoV-2 assay.

In the past year the team focused their efforts to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, starting with establishing the first COVID research lab in PHRI. Their group developed the SARS-CoV-2 variant detection tests using the sloppy molecular beacons. The assay uses a melting temperature (Tm) based approach to detect and differentiate CDC’s list of all the major variants of concern (VOC) and of interest (VOI) as of Nov 2021, targeting the major mutations at 501, 484 and 452 codons. They also worked to conclusively demonstrate inactivation of the virus using different transport buffers for bio-safe sample transport. Their research with COVID-19 positive patients showed that a non-invasive saliva sample carries higher viral load than other respiratory samples and a guandium based buffer increased the detection sensitivity. They continue to collaborate in clinical studies to understand the viral load in saliva and in the expelled droplets. Another major project that Dr. Banada’s team is actively working on is developing diagnostic assays for C. auris and candidemia with the goal to achieve detection limits as low as 1 CFU/ml of candida spp in blood. The sepsis assay target pathogens also cover Chikungunya virus and tier 1 select agent pathogens among the others.

Dr. Banada has been involved in molecular diagnostic research for infectious diseases and tuberculosis for a little over a decade. She established the advantage of small amplicon assays in qPCR and the distribution of S. aureus in various components of the infected blood. She developed the novel sample processing methods for blood and stool samples for detection of TB from immunocompromised patients and children which were evaluated in clinical trials in TB endemic countries, done in collaboration with FIND and CDRC.

She continues to collaborate with industry and academic partners in several ongoing projects.

View all on PubMed

Banik S, Saibire K, Suryavanshi S, Johns G, Chakravorty S, Kwiatkowski R, Alland D, Banada PP (2021) Inactivation of SARS-CoV-2 virus in saliva using a guanidium based transport medium suitable for RT-PCR diagnostic assays. PLoS One 16: e0252687. PMI: 34115762

Banada P, Green R, Banik S, Chopoorian A, Streck D, Jones R, Chakravorty S, Alland D (2021) A Simple Reverse Transcriptase PCR Melting-Temperature Assay To Rapidly Screen for Widely Circulating SARS-CoV-2 Variants. J Clin Microbiol 59: e0084521. PMI: 34288729

Banada P, Elson D, Daivaa N, Park C, Desind S, Montalvan I, Kwiatkowski R, Chakravorty S, Alland D, Xie YL (2021) Sample collection and transport strategies to enhance yield, accessibility, and biosafety of COVID-19 RT-PCR testing. J Med Microbiol 70. PMI: 34486972

Loeffelholz MJ, Alland D, Butler-Wu SM, Pandey U, Perno CF, Nava A, Carroll KC, Mostafa H, Davies E, McEwan A, Rakeman JL, Fowler RC, Pawlotsky JM, Fourati S, Banik S, Banada PP, Swaminathan S, Chakravorty S, Kwiatkowski RW, Chu VC, Kop J, Gaur R, Sin MLY, Nguyen D, Singh S, Zhang N, Persing DH (2020) Multicenter Evaluation of the Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 Test. J Clin Microbiol 58. PMI: 32366669

Banada PP, Deshpande S, Banik S, Shah D, Koshy R, Patel B, Kwiatkowski R, Persing D, Alland D (2019) Multiplex Detection of Three Select Agents Directly from Blood by Use of the GeneXpert System. J Clin Microbiol 57. PMI: 30842226

Walters E, Scott L, Nabeta P, Demers AM, Reubenson G, Bosch C, David A, van der Zalm M, Havumaki J, Palmer M, Hesseling AC, Ncayiyana J, Stevens W, Alland D, Denkinger C, Banada P (2018) Molecular Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis from Stools in Young Children by Use of a Novel Centrifugation-Free Processing Method. J Clin Microbiol 56. PMI: 29997199

Chakravorty S, Simmons AM, Rowneki M, Parmar H, Cao Y, Ryan J, Banada PP, Deshpande S, Shenai S, Gall A, Glass J, Krieswirth B, Schumacher SG, Nabeta P, Tukvadze N, Rodrigues C, Skrahina A, Tagliani E, Cirillo DM, Davidow A, Denkinger CM, Persing D, Kwiatkowski R, Jones M, Alland D (2017) The New Xpert MTB/RIF Ultra: Improving Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Resistance to Rifampin in an Assay Suitable for Point- of-Care Testing. mBio 8. PMI: 28851844

Banada PP, Deshpande S, Russo R, Singleton E, Shah D, Patel B, Burday M, Koshy R, Wang Q, Jones M, Gall A, Lokhov S, Kwiatkowski R, Persing D, Connell N, Alland D (2017) Rapid Detection of Bacillus anthracis Bloodstream Infections by Use of a Novel Assay in the GeneXpert System. J Clin Microbiol 55: 2964-2971. PMI: 28747367

Banada PP, Naidoo U, Deshpande S, Karim F, Flynn JL, O’Malley M, Jones M, Nanassy O, Jeena P, Alland D (2016) A Novel Sample Processing Method for Rapid Detection of Tuberculosis in the Stool of Pediatric Patients Using the Xpert MTB/RIF Assay. PLoS One 11: e0151980. PMI: 27007974

Banada PP, Koshy R, Alland D (2013) Detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in blood by use of the Xpert MTB/RIF assay. J Clin Microbiol 51: 2317-2322. PMI: 23678063

Banada PP, Chakravorty S, Shah D, Burday M, Mazzella FM, Alland D (2012) Highly sensitive detection of Staphylococcus aureus directly from patient blood. PLoS One 7: e31126. PMI: 22363564

Helb D, Jones M, Story E, Boehme C, Wallace E, Ho K, Kop J, Owens MR, Rodgers R, Banada P, Safi H, Blakemore R, Lan NT, Jones-Lopez EC, Levi M, Burday M, Ayakaka I, Mugerwa RD, McMillan B, Winn-Deen E, Christel L, Dailey P, Perkins MD, Persing DH, Alland D (2010) Rapid detection of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and rifampin resistance by use of on-demand, near-patient technology. J Clin Microbiol 48: 229-237. PMI: 19864480

Banada PP, Sivasubramani SK, Blakemore R, Boehme C, Perkins MD, Fennelly K, Alland D (2010) Containment of bioaerosol infection risk by the Xpert MTB/RIF assay and its applicability to point-of-care settings. J Clin Microbiol 48: 3551-3557. PMI: 20720033