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21st July 2014  Content supplied by: Medical Wire & Equipment

Sigma-Virocult® Swabs Continue Battle with Influenza

The annual influenza season seems to be well underway in the northern hemisphere with the pandemic H1N1 strain (Influenza A (H1N1)pdm09) predominating in both Europe and North America. Concern is also being expressed about the re-emergence of Influenza A (H5N1) (avian flu) in Canada, while there has also been a resurgence in China in recent weeks of the novel avian flu strain Influenza A (H7N9).

Given the circulation of these virulent and potentially lethal strains, with the potential for a new pandemic, timely and accurate surveillance is essential. Current guidance is for strains to be identified and sub-typed by RT-PCR, with the preferred specimens2 being a nasopharyngeal swab, two swabs combined into one viral transport media vial (for example combined nasal swab with oropharyngeal swab or combined nasopharyngeal swab with oropharyngeal swab), or a nasal aspirate or wash. The swabs or aspirate should be placed in sterile viral transport medium and conveyed securely to a suitable national or state reference laboratory. Culture of suspected novel strains should not to be undertaken in local laboratories.

Sigma-Virocult® is the ideal product for all these scenarios. Originally developed as Virocult® for recovery of live viruses9, including influenza virus, in cell culture, the new generation of the product has proved fully suitable for the detection of influenza in molecular systems, including RT-PCR. The tube contains a sterile dedicated viral transport medium that is compatible with culture and PCR –based methods. A new study (publication pending) has shown compatibility with different RT-PCR methods for Influenza A (H7N9) virus. The product can be supplied with a single swab, a combination of single standard swab (throat) and mini-tip swab (nasopharyngeal), or as the tube of medium on its own for use with aspirates.

The product is suitable for all respiratory, skin and enteric viruses, and is fully approved and readily available in all markets.

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Date Published: 21st July 2014

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