PositiveID Corporation, a developer of biological detection and diagnostics solutions, today announced that it has successfully detected influenza on its Firefly Dx breadboard prototype PCR pathogen detection system.
Influenza is an RNA virus and requires a reverse transcription step to create cDNA prior to PCR being performed. The entire testing process was performed on the Firefly Dx breadboard, which is significantly faster than standard laboratory equipment and protocols, with results achieved in minutes instead of hours or days.
In testing, PositiveID ran a third-party Human Seasonal Influenza Virus and assay and detected the Type A virus, with no change to the assay’s chemistry ratio or design.
Other strains currently being tested include Influenza B, H1 and H3 strains. The Firefly Dx is designed with the capability to screen for and detect multiple strains of the virus simultaneously with a single test.
“These latest testing results are significant because testing for the influenza virus using existing standard PCR protocols requires additional sample preparation steps prior to performing PCR,” stated William J. Caragol, Chairman and CEO of PositiveID. “With our Firefly Dx breadboard prototype we are able to deliver sample-to-result detection in one step in minutes. That time savings can be critical for point-of-need detection during an outbreak of any pathogen.”
Firefly Dx is designed to provide real-time, accurate diagnostic results in a handheld device, thereby leading to treatment scenarios at the point of need that are not possible with existing systems, which require lab-based equipment and can take hours or even days to provide results.
Firefly’s applications include point-of-need, lab-quality, detection of pathogenic organisms; agricultural screening in both domestic sectors and developing countries; and detection of biological agents associated with weapons of mass destruction.