Now available in Europe, a new molecular diagnostic test from Alere is the first to detect and differentiate the influenza A and B viruses in less than 15 minutes. Designed for a point-of-care environment, the test may help prevent unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics and antiviral medications due to misdiagnosis. It is commercially available in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK.
“Alere i is a transformational platform that allows healthcare professionals to make a rapid influenza diagnosis—and effective patient management decisions—in a clinically meaningful timeframe, whether the patient is in the physician office, emergency department, or urgent care clinic,” said Avi Pelossof, global president of infectious disease for Alere. “Alere i also significantly expands screening opportunities by making innovative, rapid molecular testing technology available at the point of care as well as in laboratory settings.”
Molecular tests extract and analyze DNA or RNA strands to identify sequences linked to viral and bacterial infections. Using proprietary isothermal nucleic acid amplification technology (iNAT), the Alere i delivers results more quickly than traditional polymerase chain reaction testing, which requires temperature cycling that can slow the delivery of results. Alere is currently developing similar tests for Strep A, C. difficile, respiratory syncytial virus, and chlamydia/gonorrhea.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control estimates that each year 40,000 people in the European Union die from influenza. The disease can lead to loss of productivity and generate a significant financial burden for patients who require a hospital stay or face a secondary complication. The rapid turnaround time of the Alere i may help clinicians to implement infection control measures.