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Quest Diagnostics Introduces First Commercial Laboratory Test for Identifying the H1N1 Swine Flu Virus
Date:5/11/2009

ed to its reference laboratory confirmed as positive for the novel H1N1 influenza virus by public health authorities. Real-time PCR is a highly sensitive testing technique that can detect the presence of a virus' RNA from a patient's nasal or nasopharyngeal specimen. The S-OIV virus responsible for a recent outbreak affecting dozens of countries is a subtype of Influenza virus Type A. The new Focus Diagnostics test simultaneously detects the presence of Influenza A virus RNA and specifically identifies the presence of the novel H1N1 virus.

Focus Diagnostics will perform the Influenza A H1N1 (Swine Flu) RNA Real-Time RT-PCR laboratory test, in alignment with current public health guidelines, at its reference laboratory in Cypress, California. Physicians, hospitals and other health care practitioners may order the laboratory test directly from Focus Diagnostics or through the Quest Diagnostics national laboratory network. Expected turnaround time for reporting results is within 24 hours of receipt of specimen by the Focus Diagnostics laboratory.

In addition to the new Influenza A H1N1 (Swine Flu) RNA Real-Time RT-PCR Test, Quest Diagnostics' regional laboratories, including the Focus Diagnostics reference laboratory, perform a broad range of testing services to detect Influenza viruses, including PCR, rapid cell culture, direct immunofluorescence (DFA) and enzyme immunoassay (EIA) techniques. Depending on the laboratory, the company can perform testing on different types of collected specimens, such as nasopharyngeal swabs, nasal secretions, nasal wash (lavage) and aspirations.

Public health guidelines are governed at the federal, state and county level, and vary across the U.S. While state and county public health guidelines initially required private clinical laboratories to provide positive Influenza virus type A positive specimens to public health authorities for confirmatory testing and diagnosis of novel H1N1
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SOURCE Quest Diagnostics Incorporated
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