Rapid avian flu detection kits for sale in in Europe, Asia, and Africa
15 March 2006
Warrington, UK. Applied Biosystems (NYSE:ABI), an Applera Corporation
business, has released its TaqMan Influenza A/H5 Detection Kit for sale in
in Europe, Asia, and Africa. It is capable of rapidly and reliably detecting
multiple strains of avian influenza in laboratory samples. This test is not
currently available for sale in the United States.
The influenza kit can detect the presence of the avian influenza virus in
as few as two and a half hours. In comparison, traditional cell culture
testing takes from 2-10 days to confirm avian influenza infections. The
Applied Biosystems kits include standardized reagents and an accompanying
protocol run on real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) platforms, a
technology widely used by life science researchers.
We are delivering on the European, Asian, and African public health
community's call for an early warning system for avian influenza," said Lars
Holmkvist, President of Applied Biosystems, Europe. "Applied Biosystems'
detection kit can detect infected samples in a matter of hours, not days,
thereby speeding the public health response to avian flu outbreaks."
The kits, which can detect a broad range of viral strains, have been
tested for accuracy against recent samples of avian influenza in
collaboration with the following laboratories: Robert Koch Institute,
Germany; Avian Influenza Reference Veterinary Lab, Italy; National Public
Health Institute, Finland; Ministry of Agriculture, Turkey.
"Due to the geographical variability and frequent mutation of the avian
influenza virus, detection technologies need to be tested against as many
samples from as many different regions as possible," stated Dr. Brunhilde
Schweiger of the National Reference Center for Influenza at the Robert Koch
Institute in Germany. "Based on tests performed in our lab for detection of
the H5 virus and differentiation from other influenza viruses, we are
confident that Applied Biosystems' assays can quickly detect currently
circulating strains of the virus with a high degree of reliability."
The kits, which are manufactured in Warrington, England, are commercially
available in Europe, Asia and Africa and have already been shipped to public
health departments and veterinary laboratories in many European countries,
including Switzerland, Finland, Germany, Italy, Poland, as well as several
countries in Africa and the Middle East.
Applied Biosystems currently has an installed base of over 1,400
real-time PCR platforms in public health laboratories across Europe, Asia,
and Africa capable of running the avian influenza TaqMan assay. Today's
announcement is part of a broader Applied Biosystems international
initiative to ensure that detection kits and up-to-date genomic data are
available for priority epidemiology studies related to infectious disease
To ensure availability of the kits in the event of an outbreak, Applied
Biosystems intends to stockpile materials in the United Kingdom and Japan to
enable a more rapid response to kit production and distribution.
Restrictions on use
Applied Biosystems' influenza detection products are for research and
epidemiological use only in countries outside of the United States. They
have not been cleared or approved by the United States Food and Drug
Administration or any other regulatory agency, or under the European IVD
Directive, for human diagnostic or other clinical use, and are not intended
and should not be used for human diagnostic or any other clinical purposes.
TaqMan(R) Influenza A/H5 Detection Kits and Applied Biosystems' other
influenza detection kits are not for sale in the United States.