PrimerDesign Develops World's First Test Kit for Tamiflu-resistant Swine Flu
News Sep 07, 2009
PrimerDesign, specialists in gene detection and real time PCR gene quantification, announces the world's first test kit for detecting a new drug-resistant strain of the swine flu virus. The mutated virus has been identified in isolated cases in both Europe and Asia. With the widespread use of the Tamiflu drug as a treatment for the disease, it is expected that such strains will spread and become common.
The new kit will help health organizations and governments track the spread of the mutated virus, enabling them to develop effective strategies for tackling it. The kit provides results within 2 hours. Without it, the process typically takes three days. A first test confirms if a patient sample is positive or negative for swine flu. The second test determines if the swine flu is a mutant, Tamiflu-resistant strain.
Dr. Rob Powell from PrimerDesign said, "We have already seen this worst case scenario emerge with ordinary circulating flu. Standard human flu strains are now almost completely resistant to Tamiflu, rendering the drug ineffective."
PrimerDesign Director Dr. Jim Wicks commented, "The kit is a crucial weapon in containing the spread of the mutant swine flu. Speed of identification is a crucial factor in minimizing the impact of the virus."
PrimerDesign produces genetic detection kits for numerous other viruses and conditions. The company drew worldwide attention earlier in the year by developing the world's first DNA test kit for Mexican Swine Flu.
In a new study in cells, University of Illinois researchers have adapted CRISPR gene-editing technology to cause the cell’s internal machinery to skip over a small portion of a gene when transcribing it into a template for protein building. This gives researchers a way not only to eliminate a mutated gene sequence, but to influence how the gene is expressed and regulated.