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Nanogen Releases Real-Time PCR Reagents

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Nanogen, Inc. has announced that it has expanded its product portfolio to include MGB Alert™ real-time PCR reagents designed to assist laboratories in developing tests that can detect sequences associated with varicella-zoster virus (VZV, also called Human Herpesvirus 3) and Bordetella bacteria.

Vaccines exist for both VZV and Bordetella, but the conditions they cause remain endemic for several reasons.

VZV infection causes chicken pox, and its reactivation can trigger the painful neurological disorder shingles.

Varicella is an opportunistic pathogen in immuno-compromised individuals and causes severe reactions in children with leukemia and lymphoma.

In these cases, rapid diagnosis is needed in order to begin a course of appropriate antiviral therapy.

In addition, the proportion of atypical VZV cases has risen, increasing the need for laboratory confirmation of physicians' diagnoses.

Because the current vaccine for Bordetella is only approved for children under seven and does not convey life-long protection, whooping cough has persisted in teens and adults.

"Reagents that can be used in the laboratory-developed tests to detect VZV and Bordetella are the latest addition to Nanogen's MGB Alert Real-Time PCR analyte specific reagents (ASRs)," said Howard Birndorf, Nanogen chairman and CEO.

"Diagnosis by Real-Time PCR is possible within a few hours, as compared to traditional culture methods that can take days."

PCR tests are also regarded as more accurate and sensitive than currently available direct immunofluorescent assays (DFAs).

All MGB Alert products utilize patented detection chemistry that enables laboratories to develop multiple assays with universal parameters, increasing the efficiency and throughput of clinical testing.

The super bases (Super A™, Super T™, Super G™ and Super N™) and MGB technology allow the use of shorter probes with increased sensitivity to mismatches, which have proved essential for detecting short conserved sequences.