FluChip Detects Swine-Origin H1N1

"The FluChip assay detected all of the 6 swine-origin H1N1 viruses tested, and the resulting pattern, or signature, on the microarray was dramatically different than the signature for seasonal A/H1N1 and A/H3N2 viruses. Interestingly, the signature of the swine H1N1 virus indicated an avian component within the M-gene, which is consistent with its reported Eurasian lineage”, said Dr. Erica Dawson, the Lead Scientist on the project and co-inventor of the FluChip technology.

The FluChip is expected to be a powerful addition to the influenza surveillance toolkit since it will be less susceptible to failure than qRT-PCR assays as the virus continues to evolve. The reason that the M-gene version of the FluChip is more robust has to do with the fact that the diagnostic target is a stable, internal gene which codes for the virus' matrix proteins. Current qRT-PCR subtyping assays target a more highly mutable gene that codes for a protein, hemagglutinin (HA), which is subject to antigenic drift. "As has happened in the past, if the HA gene changes in a critical region, qRT-PCR will fail and the researcher won't know why until the gene is re-sequenced," said Kathy Rowlen, chief executive officer of InDevR. The small biotech company InDevR cooperated with the University.

Based on these early FluChip results and with support from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), InDevR will immediately begin manufacturing FluChip Kits for placement in a limited number of State Public Health labs.

InDevR will combine the FluChip technology with an innovative detection technology (NESA™) to make the FluChip assay inexpensive and easy to use in any lab that has basic PCR capabilities.

COMPAMED.de; Source: University of Colorado