Chinese scientists announced last week (December 7) that they had developed a new diagnostic kit able to spot avian influenza in hours. But the World Health Organization (WHO) and Hong Kong want to know more about the assay before they put it into use.

"There has been a request for more information," WHO spokeswoman Maria Cheng said when asked about the assays on Friday (December 10). "We're interested in putting these tests through our global influenza network to see how it works in different conditions and to see if everyone gets the same results."

The tests were designed by scientists working at Shantou University and Xiamen University in mainland China and are set for immediate distribution there, where the Center for Disease Control is planning to train workers on its use.

"Other kits developed in the US, like Directgene, can distinguish between Influenza A or B. [This] kit not only...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?