FDA approves CDC’s new rapid flu test

first_imgOct 1, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday approved a new diagnostic test developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that can quickly distinguish seasonal influenza strains from an evolving virus that might have pandemic potential in hours rather than days.The test, called the Human Influenza Virus Real-Time RT-PCR Detection and Characterization Panel (rRT-PCR Flu Panel), can detect flu viruses and differentiate between seasonal and novel influenza strains, according to a statement released yesterday by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).The device isolates and amplifies viral genetic material from patients’ nose and throat samples. Then it labels the viral genetic material with fluorescent molecules.The FDA also cleared a diagnostic instrument called the Applied Biosystems 7500 Fast Dx that detects and analyzes the fluorescent-labeled viral genetic material, the HHS statement said.The test panel and diagnostic system can detect and characterize commonly circulating human influenza viruses, avian influenza A viruses such as H5N1, and novel viruses within 4 hours rather than the days it takes for conventional tests. Also, the system can test multiple samples simultaneously.Mike Leavitt, HHS Secretary, said in the statement that the new diagnostic test represents a significant achievement for public health surveillance. “The test allows us to better support laboratories on the front line of influenza testing in the United States and abroad,” he said.Julie Gerberding, MD, MPH, the CDC’s director, said in the statement that the test provides another tool to fight seasonal influenza. “We’ll now be able to detect influenza in the community faster, which allows us to take steps more quickly to protect and save lives,” she said.Three groups collaborated on the development of the new test: the CDC, Applied Biosystems, based in Foster City, Calif., and the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL). State public health laboratories in Virginia, Iowa, California, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Washington conducted clinical evaluations of the new flu panel.CDC-qualified labs will be able to use the new diagnostic test this fall, and some facilities will be able to receive free reagents, the HHS said, adding that the test should ensure the accuracy of influenza testing results among the different sites that perform subtype testing.Rosemary Humes, the APHL’s senior advisor for scientific affairs, told CIDRAP News that labs have been using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing to analyze influenza viruses for a while, but they’ve never had standardized reagents until now. “The speed and accuracy is a great asset,” she said, adding that the APHL helped develop the test and conducted validity testing.If a lab detects a novel strain with the new diagnostic testing system, the results will be more credible, Humes said.Leavitt said the test’s ability to identify emerging influenza viruses is especially important. “This breakthrough allows for a more timely detection of a pandemic virus, which helps in determining when to begin broad control strategies as well as life-saving mitigation measures, such as closing schools, cancelling social gatherings, and informing businesses to begin work-at-home policies,” he said in the statement.See also:Sep 30 HHS press releasehttp://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2008pres/09/20080930a.htmllast_img read more

Mourinho backs Chelsea to win title

first_imgJose Mourinho believes his Chelsea team are capable of winning the Barclays Premier League title and that Manchester United and Manchester City – the champions in the past two seasons – profited from their rivals’ mistakes, rather than blowing the opposition away. The return of the self-proclaimed Special One, whose second spell as a Premier League boss begins against Hull on Sunday, means the Blues are many people’s favourites to lift a first title since 2009/10. The Portuguese led Chelsea to a first championship in 50 years in 2005, his first season in charge, after proclaiming the Blues would win the title, but nine years on he would say only that his current squad could triumph. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes six teams – United, City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool – are in title contention and Mourinho agrees. “We don’t see that somebody this season can destroy the competition by winning 95, 100 points,” Mourinho said. “By one side it’s good, competition is very, very high. But we have all the managers, to try to keep that competitiveness, but by all of us being really good. That would be fantastic for the competition.” Chelsea have an experienced core group – Petr Cech, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Michael Essien among them – as well as young players full of potential, such as Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne. Mourinho believes his side will evolve and grow as the season progresses, rather than previously when he had established global stars, bought with Roman Abramovich’s millions, ready to deliver. He said: “This team step by step will be better, and step by step will make less mistakes and step by step will be more solid. This competition lasts 10 months and 38 matches. Let’s go step by step.” Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge on Sunday still to taste Premier League defeat at home as Chelsea boss. He enjoyed a long period of home success with Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan, but says the 60-game unbeaten run at Stamford Bridge is certain to end. “I have to lose some time,” he said. “Two seasons in Porto, no defeats at home, three and a half at Chelsea, no defeats at home, two at Inter, no defeats at home. That’s not normal. My team is going to be strong at home? Yes, for sure. “We are going to win lots of matches at home, for sure. We are not going to lose many points at home, for sure. But if we lose a match I think it’s not a drama, it’s normal. We are ready.” “We can this season, of course we can, we want to think we can, but it’s a different process,” Mourinho said. “They don’t need that added pressure. I don’t think they need outside pressure to say that they have the conditions to do it.” United won last season’s title at a canter and although he believes the competition is collectively stronger, Mourinho does not think individual teams are as good as in the past. He said: “Sometimes you win because you are tremendous and other times you win because you are the best. But you can be the best without being tremendous. “Do you think Man United last year won the Premier League because they were an unbelievable team? I don’t think so. The other contenders, they didn’t have a very good season. “The same thing the season before, when Man City won the title in the last second of the competition. Were they an extraordinary team? I don’t think they were. “I think other teams made so many mistakes that Man City finally won the competition. “You had in past years a fantastic Arsenal that won almost every game and was champion without a single defeat, you had Chelsea which has the record of points in the Premier League. You have the Man United that won the title after our double that had an unbelievable season too. “The champions, in other seasons, were magnificent. Especially in the last two seasons, I felt not. I felt the champions were the champions as a consequence of many things, not just because they were phenomenal, because in my opinion they weren’t phenomenal.” Press Associationlast_img read more


first_imgA man who set up a small cannabis factory in a wardrobe at his home has escaped going to jail.Gardai raided a house in Letterkenny and found cannabis plants growing in a bedroom.The set-up at 14 Hazelbrook Crescent, Long Lane involved the plants being put in a box with tin foil and powered by a 600 watt bulb. Gardai arrested Patrick Hughes, 27, at the scene.Hughes appeared at Letterkenny District Court on charges of cultivation of cannabis and also possession of cannabis on April 14th, 2011.His solicitor Frank Dorrian said his client had found the seeds in some cannabis he had purchased and had tried to grow them.He went onto the internet and found instructions about how to carry out the process.“It was not the most elaborate or well-constructed factory,” said Mr Dorrian.The court heard that there was a total of six plants in the wardrobe.The court was told that Hughes of 13 Parkview drive, Letterkenny, had problem with alcohol but was now off it since October.He had worked for an insurance company in Cork but that job had fallen through and he was now back in Donegal.Judge Denis McLaughlin said the only reason he was not considering jail sentence was because of the early plea.He adjourned the case until February 10th to consider allowing Hughes to do 240 hours community service in lieu of six months in prison.MAN FOUND WITH A MINI CANNABIS FACTORY IN HIS WARDROBE was last modified: December 2nd, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:cannabis factoryhousePatrick Hugheswardrobelast_img read more