facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Quicker avian flu diagnosis developed

Aug. 29, 2006 at 12:15 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists report developing a microchip that cuts the time needed for a detailed diagnosis of avian flu from a week or more to fewer than 12 hours.

The new technology -- a microchip covered with bits of genetic material from many different flu strains -- was announced by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The microchip, in addition to signaling whether bird flu is involved in a diagnosis, also usually reveals which flu strain is involved, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Such a rapid and detailed diagnosis will enable public health officials investigating a bird flu outbreak to quickly decide whether to kill thousands of birds or to treat hundreds of potentially exposed people with expensive antiviral drugs, the newspaper said.

Current diagnosis protocols require samples be frozen and shipped to a highly secure laboratory where the virus can be genetically sequenced. That process can take more than a week to complete.

The new test, called FluChip, can be performed in any laboratory that can amplify bits of genetic material, officials told The Times. Samples need not be frozen and the work can be conducted in laboratories with lower biosecurity levels.

© 2006 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Next week's lunar eclipse may feature the color turquoise Next week's lunar eclipse may feature the color turquoise
2
35,000 walruses haul out of ocean, crowd Alaskan shore 35,000 walruses haul out of ocean, crowd Alaskan shore
3
NASA satellite shows scope of Aral Sea disaster NASA satellite shows scope of Aral Sea disaster
4
Apple releases fix for 'Shellshock' virus Apple releases fix for 'Shellshock' virus
5
Social network Ello getting thousands of requests per hour Social network Ello getting thousands of requests per hour
Trending News
x
Feedback