Ocimum Biosolutions to introduce new test for H1N1 flu

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Hyderabad, May 4 (ANI/Business Wire India): Ocimum Biosolutions announced the launch of a microarray-based test (research use only) for the latest version of the H1N1 flu.

The company reported that it updated its custom chip probes using sequence information from the latest strain of the swine flu from the NCBI site.

Most of these sequences have been submitted worldwide in the past 96 hours.

The CDC and US Food and Drug Administration have authorized the emergency use of an RT-PCR based molecular diagnostic assay to identify cases of swine flu in the current outbreak in the US.

The microarray (research use only) was developed on Ocimum's custom OciChipT array platform three years ago when the first cases of the avian flu outbreak occurred.

This has been updated with the latest sequence information posted last week and the probes have been redesigned.

This test will be available for use after the validation is completed. Ocimum said that it can also provide an RT-PCR based molecular diagnostic assay for use in India and Asia.

Anu Acharya, CEO, Ocimum Biosolutions said, "Our Bioinformatics team in India has redesigned the OciChipT array probes to match the latest sequence information available. The RT-PCR assay and the microarray will quickly identify the H1N1 virus in patients diagnosed with Influenza A as some older tests may not pick up this new strain."

"In a public health emergency like this, we want to make sure that we identify the right strain which is not picked up by current tests. We are ready to work with various public health labs in the India and the region that need help in setting up these assays, or running the samples in our labs. Pandemics of this sort need to be rapidly identified at the source so that public health officials can implement various measures to control the disease. Both these assays can be conducted in a few hours and avoids the risk of patients with suspected cases infecting others when the wait is longer," added Acharya. (ANI)

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