German scientists cut bird-flu test time to hours

26th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

26 August 2005, LEIPZIG - German scientists said Friday they have developed a laboratory test for bird flu that reduces from days to hours the amount of time needed to detect the H5N1 virus in human patients.

26 August 2005

LEIPZIG - German scientists said Friday they have developed a laboratory test for bird flu that reduces from days to hours the amount of time needed to detect the H5N1 virus in human patients.

Uwe Gerd Liebert of the University of Leipzig said the test would be available in about six weeks. Final experiments with the microbiological test were continuing and it has not yet been submitted for regulatory approval.

There has been growing alarm in Europe this month over the westwards spread of the H5N1 virus in poultry from Central Asia. The disease can infect and kill people.

Professor Liebert, who heads the university's virology institute, said it currently took laboratories several days to find H5N1 in human samples.

He said other German virology centres had also been working on rapid tests and were making similar progress to that in Leipzig.

The Leipzig team is also developing a test to check for an immune reaction to the H5N1 virus. This would show if people had caught the virus in the past and had recovered from the infection.

DPA

Subject: German news

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