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Smiths Detection to launch a portable diagnostic system for foot-and-mouth disease and avian flu
Date:10/14/2007

Larry Wangh at Brandeis University, near Boston, Massachusetts, that invented a novel DNA amplification and analysis technique called Linear After The Exponential PCR (LATE PCR). Smiths Detection holds an exclusive license to this technology. LATE PCR provides significant improvements over traditional PCR techniques, in particular in its ability to identify multiple types of bacteria or virus in a single test and to determine accurately the strain of an individual infection. This latter characteristic is critical in Avian Influenza where discrimination between the pathogenic strain of H5N1 and more common forms of the disease, is vital.

Dr. Donald King, Group Leader of Molecular Characterisation and Diagnostics at the UK Institute for Animal Health (IAH), said: Smiths Detection is actively collaborating with the Institute for Animal Health's global reference laboratory for foot-and-mouth disease to develop an assay to allow the rapid detection of FMD-infected animals in the field. This work has involved the development of a suitable assay format which will be validated when Smith's new platform technology is available in the near future. The results of this early pilot work have been presented at international conferences.

Smiths Detection is working to develop additional assays for the same instrument, including one to detect the Blue Tongue virus.

Stephen Phipson, Group Managing Director of Smiths Detection, said: Our links with some of the worlds leading academic institutions enhance Smiths Detections technologies and take us into new markets. This breakthrough with Brandeis University moves our biological detection and identification activities into an important commercial market. We are putting laboratory science into the hands of vets. Together we will play a vital role in the future detection and management of animal disease outbreaks.

Commenting on the relationship with Smiths Detection, Irene Abrams, Director of the Of
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Contact: Irene Abrams
iabrams@brandeis.edu
781-736-2176
Brandeis University
Source:Eurekalert

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