The U.S. Department of Agriculture has granted Synbiotics Corporation full USDA approval for marketing and distribution of Flu Detect® Avian Influenza Type A antigen test strip kits. This rapid and highly sensitive test provides fast, accurate detection of all Type A avian influenza viruses, including H5N1, in poultry.
Flu Detect has previously been marketed in the United States under a USDA conditional license and utilized globally by numerous U.S. government agencies including USAID, and by foreign governments for their avian flu surveillance programs.
"Because Flu Detect has been designed to be a rapid in-field test, it has been adopted by several international agencies to be part of their First Response avian influenza detection and containment programs," according to the developer, Dr. Chinta Lamichhane, Director of Avian Research Development at Synbiotics.
Flu Detect detects all subtypes of Influenza Type A, even with a low virus load, and provides results in just 15 minutes. The test kit requires no refrigeration and contains all materials necessary to be easily used in under-equipped conditions, which is why it appeals to so many international agencies and to the U.S. government.
"During the conditional license period, Flu Detect was evaluated by several locations around the world, thus recognized by FAO, OIE, USAID, NCC and NAIH, and its methodology endorsed by the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP)," said Brenda Glidewell, Technical Resource Director, Synbiotics.
While the H5N1 subtype of Avian Influenza Type A has not yet been identified in the United States, state and federal agencies, health officials and the poultry industry are on a high state of alert for the disease. Since H5N1 was first detected in Southeast Asia in 2003, it has caused severe illness and death in poultry, including wild waterfowl, and in rare cases it has been transmitted from birds to humans, said Glidewell.
Flu Detect is readily available around the globe. Synbiotics markets Flu Detect internationally via its distribution network. In the United States, Flu Detect is directly marketed to state approved laboratories and poultry operations as-well-as to government agencies.
In addition to Flu Detect, Synbiotics offers ProFlok® AIV Plus, a USDA approved laboratory test that detects the presence of antibodies to Avian Influenza Type A Virus in serum. ProFlok AIV Plus ELISA methodology has been endorsed in the United States by NPIP, a cooperative program of federal and state governments and the U.S. poultry industry to improve poultry and poultry products through the use of new technologies.