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Thermo Scientific Launches New IMAGEN Test for hMPV - a Cause of Acute Respiratory Disease


Thermo Scientific has launched a new direct immunofluorescence test for the rapid detection and identification of human metapneumovirus (hMPV) in human clinical specimens. With results in less than half an hour, and requiring only standard microbiological equipment, IMAGEN™ hMPV enables clinical laboratories of any size to screen for this important cause of acute respiratory tract (RT) illness.

First identified in 2001 [1], hMPV is increasingly recognised as a significant cause of respiratory disease in both children and adults [2,3] (although it is predominantly associated with respiratory infections in young children up to 2 years of age [2]), causing 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 [4,5].

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 short, 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 PCR [2]. 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, Thermo Scientific (Ely) commented, "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% and sensitivity of 76-100% (depending on the reference method used) [6]. It is available in kits of 50 tests, including 2 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.

For further information about IMAGEN hMPV and other IMAGEN tests, contact Thermo Scientific using the contact details at the top of this page.

[1] van den Hoogen, B.G., de Jong, J.C., Groen, J et al (2001) Nat Med 7:719-724
[2] Schildgen, O., Simon, A., Wilkesmann, A. et al (2006) Rev Med Micro 17:11-25
[3] Kahn, J.S. (2006) Clin Micro Rev 19(3): 546-557
[4] Ordás, J., Boga, J.A., Alvarez-Argüeller, M. et al (2006) J Clin Micro 44(8) : 2739-2742
[5] Chano, F., Rousseau, C., Laferrière, C. et al (2005) J Clin Micro 43(11) : 5520-5525
[6] Information on file, Thermo Scientific Limited

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Source : Thermo Scientific. View Company Information

Posted on October 17, 2007