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Scientists Develop Comprehensive and Rapid H5N1 Bird Flu Test Kit

Scientists at the Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC) have collaborated with Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) clinicians to develop a rapid and comprehensive H5N1 bird flu diagnostic kit that can detect all existing strains of the H5N1 virus in a single test.

Made-In-Singapore H5N1 Bird Flu Diagnostic Kit – detects all known strains of H5N1 virus with a single test

ETC is a centre of excellence set up by the Agency for Science and Technology Research (A*STAR). The advanced H5N1 real-time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) assay will help improve the preparedness against a pandemic event. The WHO recommended gold standard is the ability to detect three among 10 genetic groups, and the made-in-Singapore H5N1 test kit has the ability to detect all known strains.

The Avian Influenza virus usually affects birds, but not humans. Strains such as the H5N1 Avian Influenza A virus can also affect humans and cause a pandemic. Rapid detection and response are required to address a pandemic. The test kit has been co-developed by ETC Senior Research Scientist and Project Director of Technology Development, Dr Masafumi Inoue, and TTSH senior consultant of Laboratory Medicine, Dr Timothy Barkham.

Many hospitals in Southeast Asia have validated the H5N1test. This kit is compatible with the existing "4-plex" Influenza diagnostic kit, which is being used in many Thai hospitals. The choice of a single test multiplex assay that can detect different types of influenza infection will help save cost and time.

AITbiotech has entered into an agreement with Exploit Technologies to market this H5N1 test kit.

Source: http://www.a-star.edu.sg/

Will Soutter

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Will Soutter

Will has a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Durham, and a M.Sc. in Green Chemistry from the University of York. Naturally, Will is our resident Chemistry expert but, a love of science and the internet makes Will the all-rounder of the team. In his spare time Will likes to play the drums, cook and brew cider.

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