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Oxoid releases new 30 minute test for acute respiratory disease

Oxoid : 18 October, 2007  (New Product)
A new direct immunofluorescence test for the rapid detection and identification of human metapneumovirus (hMPV)in human clinical specimens has been introduced by Oxoid.
The test produces results in less than 30 minutes and only requires standard microbiological equipment. Imagen hMPV enables clinical laboratories of any size to screen for this viral cause of acute respiratory tract (RT) illness.

First identified in 2001, hMPV is a significant cause of respiratory disease in both children and adults (although it is predominantly associated with respiratory infections in young children up to two years of age). The virus causes symptoms that range from mild upper RT illness to more severe lower RT diseases, such as bronchitis, bronchiolitis and pneumonia.

Evidence suggests that this virus is an important human pathogen, with a prevalence and clinical significance comparable to respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)2, and its inclusion in routine laboratory testing protocols has been recommended.

Imagen hMPV is a one-step direct immunofluorescence technique that utilises monoclonal antibodies conjugated to a fluorescent dye to detect specific viral antigens expressed in all strains of hMPV.

Following a 15-minute incubation, specimens are mounted on a slide and viewed microscopically using epifluorescent illumination.

If hMPV is present, characteristic bright apple-green fluorescence is seen within infected cells.

This is clearly visible against the red background staining of uninfected cells.
Until now, laboratory diagnosis of hMPV has largely depended on virus isolation in cell cultures and/or detection of viral RNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

These methods are time consuming and require specialised equipment, often restricting their use to larger laboratories.

The speed and simplicity of Imagen hMPV, however, allows laboratories without these specialised facilities to test for hMPV and provides a suitable routine screening method for clinical laboratories of any size.

Barbara Fallowfield, marketing manager, Oxoid (Ely) said: “Imagen hMPV is an important addition to our range of products for the identification of respiratory viruses.

“This comprehensive panel of tests not only helps medical professionals to know what aetiological agent they are dealing with, but it will also help them to understand more about the prevalence and clinical significance of each of the viruses”.

Imagen hMPV has demonstrated a specificity of 100 percent and sensitivity of 76 to 100 percent.

Imagen hMPV is available in kits of 50 tests, including two positive control slides and mounting fluid.

Other products in the Imagen range include direct immunofluorescence tests for RSV, influenza A and B virus, parainfluenza virus 1, 2 and 3, and adenovirus.
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