Virax Biolabs, a diagnostics company focused on the prevention, detection, and diagnosis of viral diseases, has entered into an agreement for the distribution of an Avian Influenza A Virus (AIV) real-time PCR test kit to markets accepting the CE mark.

The Avian Influenza A Virus test kit is for the detection and differentiation of ribonucleic acid from AIV and the H5, H7, and H9 subtypes, including the H5N1 strain currently spreading in Europe.

The test kit is for use in laboratory settings and can help healthcare professionals accurately identify an AIV infection, the company says. It also serves as a valuable initial screening test for individuals that have been exposed to AIV infected livestock or a high-risk environment.

Human infections with AIV have occurred in many countries, predominately after exposure to infected poultry or virus-contaminated environments. Six main hemagglutinin subtypes of bird flu viruses have infected people and have resulted in mild-to-severe illness with a wide range of symptoms and complications. These six subtypes include H3, H5, H6, H7, H9, and H10 viruses. Among these, H5N1 and H7N9 viruses have caused the majority of infections which occur in humans.

“We continue to expand our ViraxClear distribution platform to bring test solutions to a widening range of viral threats,” says Virax Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO James Foster. “With a real-time PCR test kit poised to accurately and reliably detect AIV, including the deadly H5N1 strain, we expect to facilitate rapid and potentially life-saving interventions especially in vulnerable jurisdictions.”