Volume 95 Issue 12 | p. 7 | News of The Week
Issue Date: March 20, 2017

Detecting flu at the doctor’s office

Fast, inexpensive technique uses glucose meter to distinguish between bacterial and viral infections
Department: Science & Technology
News Channels: Biological SCENE, Analytical SCENE, Organic SCENE
Keywords: diagnostics, flu, influenze, neuraminidase, glucose meter, diagnosis

In doctor’s offices and emergency rooms, rapid flu tests can yield results in 15 minutes. These immunoassays, which use antibodies to detect influenza proteins, unfortunately produce false negatives in nearly half of flu cases. Polymerase chain reaction tests are more sensitive but often require experienced personnel, typically take hours or days to complete, and are expensive.

Researchers have now developed what could be a fast, accurate, and inexpensive alternative: an assay that uses a handheld . . .

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