Wednesday, April 8, 2009

FDA Approves Rapid Diagnostic Test for H5N1 in Humans

On Tuesday, the FDA approved a rapid diagnostic test developed by Arbor Vita Corporation to diagnose H5N1 in humans in about 40 minutes.

"'The test, called AVantage A/H5N1 Flu Test, detects influenza A/H5N1 in throat or nose swabs collected from patients who have flu-like symptoms,' the FDA said in a statement."

This test was hailed by the FDA as a major step forward, particularly as the AVantage test is the fastest test (compared to 4 hours for the next fastest) to accurately diagnose the particular H5N1 influenza strain. It's also apparently easier to use.

Thus far, Arbor Vita has only announced plans to use the rapid diagnostic test for the US population (if necessary) and forward-deployed US military personnel. No information regarding per-test cost was readily available from news sources or Arbor Vita's site.

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