The U.S. Centers for Disease Control is making available diagnostic materials to specifically detect the new avian influenza A (H7N9) virus found in China. The emerging reassortant virus has to date been confirmed in 119 humans, 22 of which have died.
On April 22, 2013, the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization for the CDC Human Influenza Virus Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel-Influenza A/H7 (Eurasian Lineage) Assay. While there are no known cases of H7N9 in the U.S., the authorization is a matter of putting the appropriate mechanisms in place to support public health laboratory preparedness.
In the United States, public health labs can now order the CDC H7N9 rRT-PCR reagents (primers and probes), controls and test protocol. The reagents are intended for use in conjunction with CDC’s existing test kit, the Flu rRT-PCR Dx Panel. Non public health entities can obtain primer sequences or testing protocols from the CLSIS website.
International public health agencies may also order these materials via the CDC’s Influenza Reagent Repository (IRR) website.
The CDC states that testing with the CDC Human Influenza Virus Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel-Influenza A/H7 (Eurasian Lineage) Assay should not be performed unless the patient meets clinical and epidemiologic criteria for testing suspect specimens.
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Source and Image Credit: Centers for Disease Control.