Author Topic: Quick & Cheap Bird Flu Test  (Read 3021 times)

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Quick & Cheap Bird Flu Test
« on: September 24, 2007, 02:52:11 PM »
Scientists in Singapore say they have invented a quick and cheap bird flu test in a hand held kit that can detect the deadly H5N1 virus in under 30 minutes
The device relies on two technologies. One is a microfluid platform that manipulates a droplet from a throat swab using magnetic forces that act on paramagnetic particles in the droplet, and the other is a lab technique called real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCT).

Combined in a easy to use hand held device, the two technologies allow the scientist to take a throat swab, isolate, purify and amplify the viral RNA, and then scan it to see if it contains H5N1.

Successful containment of a potential global bird flu pandemic will depend, said the researchers, on rapid diagnosis of the first clusters of cases. But this would be virtually impossible in countries lacking basic public health resources, where samples would have to sent to centralized labs for testing.

A handheld device that is cheap, reliable and easy to use would enable local testing for H5N1.

The researchers concluded in their study that the "minilab" prototype is just as sensitive as the commercially available tests, about 440 per cent faster, and between 2,000 and 5,000 per cent cheaper.

The device could also be adapted to detect HIV, Hepatitis B and SARS, wrote the scientists.

Qouted from Real Time PCR Research


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