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Posts Tagged ‘norovirus’

New Laboratory Test for Norovirus

Friday, March 11th, 2011

In one of the first advances in research on Norovirus in some time, the US Food and Drug Administration (FAD) announced approval of  a first test for the quick identification of norovirus.  The test, called Ridascreen Norovirus 3rd Generation EIA assay will be used when there appears to be a clear avenue for transmission (when a number of people are sick who became symptomatic at the same time and had a common food source).  This test allows for early identification which can lead to early intervention.  Current tests are often only performed as state labs and can take several days for results.  The test was designed by Biopharm of Darmstadt, Germany.

In the past, some food service providers and health departments have delayed taking prompt norovirus action pending laboratory confirmation.  This new test should speed up that process and allow for more rapid response to confirmed outbreaks.

The new test is slightly less specific than the older versions- it simply confirms the presence of norovirus and does so by comparing it to about 600 known noro samples trying to find a match.  PCR confirmation which identifies specific strains can  (and should) always be done as a second or follow up  step.

This new test if sure to be a valuable tool in the on-going Norovirus battle – which appears to be in peak season now.

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