Flu epidemics occur as an annual recurring outbreak of influenza during the cold half of the year in each hemisphere, resulting in 250,000 to 500,000 deaths every year (WHO1). Each annual flu season is normally associated with a major influenza virus subtype and this subtype changes due to immunological resistance to a previous year’s strain and mutational changes in previously dormant virus strains. In addition, threatening sporadic outbreaks of avian influenza demonstrated with the H1N1 pandemic of 2009 propels the need for rapid and accurate detection and typing of seasonal influenza.
In patients with suspected pandemic flu, rapid identification of patients who will develop severe symptoms is critical for effective management and positive outcome. When used on patients at the earliest stages of disease, these tests will have prognostic value, rapidly identifying those who are suffering from seasonal flu from those who are suffering from pandemic flu. This leads to better resource management through more efficient allocation of limited supplies of vaccines, diagnostic tests, hospital beds, quarantine facilities, as well as manpower in terms of healthcare workers.
The symptoms of flu can include any or all of these symptoms: fever, muscle aches, headache, lack of energy, dry cough, sore throat and runny nose. It is difficult to diagnose as the initial symptoms of influenza are similar to other infectious agents including but not limited to, Mycoplasma pneumonia, Adenovirus, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Rhinovirus, Parainfluenza viruses and Legionella spp.
Accurate and timely diagnosis enables appropriate treatment of patients and reduces the inappropriate use of drugs. Influenza surveillance information and diagnostic testing provides information on the presence of influenza viruses in the community and also identify the predominant circulating subtypes and strains of influenza. This can aid clinical judgment and help guide treatment.
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Detects H1, H3, H5, H7 and H9 (with specific identification of H1N1, H3N2, H5N1 and H9N2) and Influenza B
Multiple Probes (with duplicates) for:
- Identification of Influenza A type (type probes for H1, H3, H5, H7, H9)
- Identification of specific Influenza A subtypes (specific probes for subtypes: H1N1, H3N2, H5N1, H9N2)
- Identification of Influenza B
Process controls on each chip:
- PCR: Positive and Negative Controls
- Hybridization: Orientation and Hybridization Probes
- Specificity: 99%
- Limit of Detection: 100 copies of RNA
- Sample Types: Blood, serum and respiratory swabs (nasopharyngeal, throat, nasal or throat aspirates)
- VereFlu™ chip combines time tested technologies of multiplex PCR and Microarray into a single platform. This allows specific, rapid and simultaneous identification of different influenza virus strains
- Assay detects and identifies multiple high or low pathogenic strains, including mutated strains, in a single sample providing for full spectrum surveillance and enables prompt action by healthcare authorities to control flu epidemics or even pandemic
Easy to use
- Open sample preparation protocol to accommodate different sample types
- Easy workflow to fit into any existing laboratory setup
- Software Diagnostic rules to eliminate any human subjectivity for microarray data analysis
- Probes can be updated quickly to include new mutations of evolving flu strains and ensure wider coverage of detection
The most recent pandemic occurred in 2009 April, where a triple re-assortment event in a pig host of H1N1 swine virus, the human H3N2 virus and avian H1N1 virus generated the swine H1N2 strain. And when the virus H1N2 co-infected a human host with the Euroasiatic H1N1 swine strain, this led to the emergence of a new human H1N1 strain. This new strain first detected in Mexico on 17th March 2009 started to spread worldwide. The 1st known death case was in the USA on 12th of April and WHO released first diseases Outbreak notice on 24th April.
Veredus Laboratories received the swine flu sequence 2 days later and began design of new primers and probes. On 29th April, we had a press release on the updated VereFlu™ chip panel which is able to detect and identify this new strain. And on 17th June, the first clinical positive sample for H1N1 was identified in the National Public Health Laboratory of Singapore using this platform.
Continuous surveillance is required to allow relevant government agencies to develop swift response to impending pandemic threats.
In the post H1N1 period, H5N1 strain is the most likely next pandemic, due to its highly pathogenic and epizootic (epidemic in nonhumans) nature. This warrants the need for surveillance of this particular strain due to its high lethality, virulence and endemic presence; it is the world’s largest current pandemic threat.