H5N1 Bird Flu Diagnostic Kit Detects All Known Strains of H5N1 Virus with a Single Test
31-05-2012: The close collaboration between scientists from the Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC) under the Agency for Science and Technology Research (A*STAR) and clinicians from Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) has enabled the successful development of the most comprehensive and rapid H5N1 bird flu test kit available to date. With this highly advanced kit, doctors can now rapidly detect all existing strains of the H5N1 viruses in a single test with almost 100% accuracy, within a few hours. This is a big boost to public healthcare system and a great stride forward in pandemic preparedness against this highly infectious disease worldwide.
The current gold standard for H5N1 detection recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) is only able to detect three out of the 10 distinct genetic groups (clades 1, 2 and 3). To detect all existing strains of H5N1 with the WHO detection method would not be possible. The made-in-Singapore H5N1 test kit, which is more accurately known as the H5N1 real-time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) assay, is the only detection kit currently available on the market that can accurately and rapidly detect all known strains of the H5N1 Avian Influenza A virus in a single test within a matter of hours.
Co-developed by Dr Masafumi Inoue, a Senior Research Scientist and Project Director of Technology Development from ETC and Dr Timothy Barkham, a senior consultant of Laboratory Medicine from TTSH, this newly launched H5N1 test kit has been clinically validated by several hospitals in Southeast Asia.
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