McMaster virologist develops avian flu test

November 14, 2005

A diagnostic test that detects all the major human respiratory viruses, including H5N1 (Avian Flu) and SARS Corona, has been developed by a virologist at McMaster University, and is about to undergo clinical evaluation. It is expected that the test will be available for evaluation by hospital-based laboratories by early December.

Jim Mahony and his lab at McMaster University collaborated with Tm Bioscience Corporation, a Toronto-based company that conducts genetic testing, says the test reduces the laborious and long process involved in acquiring definitive results.

"This test could play a major role during an outbreak or epidemic by clearly identifying infected individuals early in the outbreak and limiting the spread of virus in the community," said Mahony, director of the McMaster University Regional Virology and Chlamydiology Laboratory at St. Joseph's healthcare, and president of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology. "It will assist public health authorities in determining which specific virus, if any, is present in a patient who is presenting flu symptoms."

Mahony's lab provided the genetic sequences for the probes and primers to build the test and assisted in establishing key test parameters for the detection of the individual viruses. His lab continues to work with Tm Bioscience to assess performance characteristics of the test using clinical specimens.

Tm Bioscience plans to launch successive versions of its Upper Respiratory Infectious Disease Panel over time. The first version of the panel, which detects and differentiates among various strains of Respiratory Syncitial Virus (RSV), SARS Corona Virus, Parainfluenza and Influenza Virus A/B including H5N1 (Avian Flu), is currently being tested. It will be available for evaluation by hospital- based laboratories and reference laboratories by early December.

Subsequent versions of the test will be expanded to include additional viruses and may identify specific mutant variants of the H5N1 virus that are capable of human-to-human transmission or that develop Tamiflu® resistance.

McMaster University

Related Avian Flu Articles from Brightsurf:

A 2014 seal flu illustrates how avian flu viruses can adapt to spread between mammals
In a study appearing October 7, 2020 in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, researchers pinpoint the mammalian adaptation mutations that appeared during a deadly 2014 avian influenza outbreak in seals.

ID'ing features of flu virus genome may help target surveillance for pandemic flu
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified features of the influenza virus genome that affect how well the virus multiplies.

Yarraman flu or horse flu? Words and graphics influence willingness to vaccinate
'Yarraman flu is a virus quickly infecting the US...' The mock announcement was enough to make readers worry.

NIAID flu experts examine evolution of avian influenza
In a new commentary published online in Emerging Infectious Diseases, two leading influenza experts from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, examine how the evolution of proteins found on the surfaces of flu viruses has impacted their ability to infect migratory birds and poultry and cause avian disease.

Better insights into drivers of avian flu outbreak
The 2014-15 outbreak of avian flu was likely driven by long-distant migrant birds, a new study reveals.

Flu nasal spray provides similar protection against influenza as flu shot: Study
For the study, the research team conducted a three-year trial in a Hutterite colony, where people live communally and are relatively isolated from cities and towns, to determine whether vaccinating children and adolescents with the flu nasal spray provided better direct and community protection than the standard flu shot.

Antibodies triggered by avian influenza virus vaccine illuminate a new path toward a universal flu vaccine
Diverse antibodies induced in humans by vaccination with an avian influenza virus vaccine may offer broader, more durable protection against multiple strains of influenza than today's vaccines typically provide.

Vanderbilt researchers identify potential antibody treatment for H7 avian flu
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center have isolated human antibodies against a type of bird flu that has killed more than 200 people in China since 2012 and which may pose a worldwide pandemic threat.

Where flu vaccination rates are higher in adults under 65, lower flu risk for seniors
Healthy adults who get the flu vaccine may help protect not only themselves but also older adults in their community at higher risk for serious complications from influenza, suggest findings from a new study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Avian flu: $1.35 million grant to fund effort to better predict deadly outbreaks
An international research team led by Lukas Tamm of the University of Virginia School of Medicine will receive $1.35 million from the Human Frontier Science Program Organization to better understand how the influenza virus passes from birds to humans.

Read More: Avian Flu News and Avian Flu Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to