15-minute test catches out flu virus

A team in the US has designed a test for detecting influenza viruses in just 15 minutes using a glucose meter – a cheap, handheld instrument that is widely available.

Source: © Royal Society of Chemistry
Proteins sitting on the flu viruses’ surface cleave a carbon–oxygen bond in a modified sialic acid, releasing the sugar galactose

Suri S Iyer and colleagues from Georgia State University have now designed a test to detect influenza viruses A and B in just 15 minutes. The test only requires a nasal swab and a glucose meter – a simple instrument usually used for diabetes control. ‘Influenza virus can be deadly especially in weak or immunocompromised people. This diagnostic can help these people as vaccines for flu are not perfect,’ Iyer explains.

Read the full story by Adrian Robinson on Chemistry World.

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