These signatures qualitatively detect currently circulating 2009 H1N1.

Biosearch Technologies, a supplier of oligonucleotide components to the molecular diagnostics industry, has licensed the new “pdm” H1N1 signatures from the CDC. The pdm panel is reportedly optimized to achieve enhanced sensitivity and specificity for H1N1 specimen.

Responding to the outbreak of the H1N1 virus and concurrently circulating seasonal influenza A (A/H1N1, H3N2) and B viruses in April 2009, CDC designed and validated molecular diagnostic probes and primers used in real-time RT-PCR detection assays. 

Subsequent molecular and antigenic evolution associated with the geographical spread of the 2009 H1N1 influenza viruses prompted CDC to design and validate new pdm molecular signatures. These signatures qualitatively detect currently circulating 2009 H1N1 and demonstrate improved performance over the probe and primer sequences previously published by the WHO.

Biosearch’s previous license of influenza signatures from CDC gave it the right to manufacture and sell dual-labeled probes and primers bearing the 2009 H1N1 and influenza A subtyping signatures under the CDC patents. With today’s license, the firm will provide access to 5’-nuclease BHQ probes that meet CDC design and manufacturing specifications for pdm 2009 H1N1 testing labs around the world.

BHQ, or Black Hole Quencher®, dyes were designed to permit efficient quenching across the visible spectrum from 480 nm into the near IR, making it possible to utilize reporter dyes that emit anywhere within this range. They work through a combination of FRET and static quenching so that researchers may avoid the residual background signal common to fluorescing quenchers such as TAMRA or low signal:noise ratio as with dabcyl, Biosearch points out.

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