Flu Virus -Advancements in Detection & Differentiation

Influenza outbreaks and epidemics constitute ongoing risks to global human public health. Recently, human infections with A/H5N1 avian influenza viruses have intensified the potential for the emergence of an influenza A virus with pandemic potential. Laboratory identification of human influenza virus infections is commonly performed using virus isolation in cell culture, direct antigen detection, or detection of influenza-specific RNA by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). In recent years commercial influenza rapid diagnostic tests have become available  which are antigen detection tests that produce results within 30 minutes. They can provide results in a clinically relevant time frame to complement the use of antiviral medications for treatment and chemoprophylaxis of influenza. 

An Emerging Infectious Disease (EID) is an infectious whose frequency has expanded in the previous 35 years and could increase in the near future. Emerging infections account for at least 12% of all human pathogens. Emerging Infectious Disease are caused by newly identified strains like SARS, AIDS that may have evolved from a known infection like influenza or spread to a new population  or strain for e.g. West Nile virus or area undergoing ecologic transformation like Lyme disease or be re-emerging infections like drug resistant tuberculosis. Of growing concern are adverse synergistic interactions between emerging diseases and other infectious and non - infectious conditions leading to the development of novel syndemics.

  • Assays and symptoms
  • Rapid detection methods by PCR
  • Strain identification assays and rapid diagnostic testing for viral infections
  • Biomarkers for influenza
  • Diseases with bioterrorism potential

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