Scientists from the University of Colorado at Boulder and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have developed an inexpensive “gene chip” test based on a single influenza virus gene that could allow scientists to quickly identify flu viruses, including avian influenza H5N1. The researchers used the MChip to detect H5N1 in samples collected over a three-year period from people and animals in geographically diverse locales. In tests on 24 H5N1 viral isolates, the chip provided complete information about virus type and subtype in 21 cases and gave no false positive results, report the scientists. They say the MChip could provide a significant advantage over available tests because it is based on a single gene segment that mutates less often than the flu genes typically used in diagnostic tests. As a result, the MChip may not need to be updated as frequently to keep up with the changing virus.
The research was led by University of Colorado scientist Kathy L. Rowlen, Ph.D., and funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. A paper describing the work, now available online, is scheduled to appear in the November 15 issue of the American Chemical Society’s journal Analytical Chemistry .
NIAID News Office
CDC Media Relations
Message posted by: Rashmi Nemade
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