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August 27, 2009

Warnex Develops Test to Detect Swine Flu Virus Mutation Linked to Tamiflu Resistance

  • Warnex Medical Laboratories says that it has launched a test for the detection of a mutation of the pandemic influenza A H1N1 virus, or the human swine flu, that is associated with resistance to Tamiflu®. Specifically, the test detects the H275Y mutation of the neuraminidase gene.

    “We have begun to see cases of Tamiflu resistance of the A H1N1 virus on a global scale and recently also here in Quebec,” notes Mark Busgang, president and CEO of Warnex. “We are offering this test for the identification of a Tamiflu-resistant strain in addition to our test for the rapid detection of the H1N1 flu virus.”

    Warnex uses RT-PCR technology to detect the influenza A virus, including the A H1N1 strain. Results are reportedly available in eight hours.

    The influenza A H1N1 virus, a variant of the influenza A virus, was first detected in people in April 2009 and in June was declared a pandemic by the WHO. It was referred to as swine flu, because laboratory testing showed that many genes in this virus were similar to those of the influenza viruses that normally infect pigs in North America. Further studies revealed that this virus is made up of genetic elements from four different flu viruses: North American swine influenza, North American avian influenza, human influenza, and the swine influenza virus typically found in Asia and Europe.