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H1N1 flu tests advance

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

Quest Diagnostics debuts the Focus Diagnostics influenza A H1N1 RNA RT-PCR test as the first commercial laboratory testing service to aid in identification of previously named swine flu, the firm announces May 11. Expected turnaround time for results is within 24 hours of receipt of the specimen. Meanwhile, Osmetech on May 14 submits a request to FDA for emergency use authorization for its Respiratory Pathogen Test Panel as a screen for H1N1. And Roche says it is making available its research use detection kit for the influenza A/H1N1 virus, which can be run on its LightCycler 480 II, 2.0 and1.5 systems; the firm notes it is filing with health authorities worldwide to allow use in emergency situations. Officials say rapid testing tools are needed to help get a handle on the path of the disease (1"The Gray Sheet" May 4, 2009, p. 3)
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