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GenArraytion introduces PCR based molecular test to identify Zika virus & other mosquito-borne pathogens

Rockville, Maryland
Tuesday, February 02, 2016, 15:00 Hrs  [IST]

GenArraytion, Inc., a privately held small business dedicated to the development and commercialization of multiplexed molecular assays for infectious diseases, announced that it self-funded the development of the first commercially available polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based molecular test to identify the Zika virus, a fever-causing disease transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The Zika virus test works with an existing GenArraytion MultiFLEX Bioassay panel that targets viruses that cause dengue fever, yellow fever and Chikungunya, which are also carried by this mosquito and are known to cause febrile disease in humans.

“The Zika virus has the potential to become a serious epidemic, with as many four million people risking exposure in the next year if the mosquito population isn’t controlled, according to the Pan American Health Organization,” said R. Paul Schaudies, Ph.D., CEO of GenArraytion. “GenArraytion’s test directly identifies the virus, thereby making it easier for public health officials to rapidly pinpoint sources of infection and to eradicate infected mosquito populations.”

The Aedes Aegypti MultiFLEX Bioassay test targets four genetic regions of the Zika virus, which will minimize the possibility of viral mutations that might enable the virus to escape detection. The Zika virus test, which took less than a month to develop, and other MultiFLEX molecular assays help health officials identify infectious diseases in panels with up to 20 genetic markers for fever-causing and vector-borne disease organisms of concern. They are designed to work on bead-based endpoint instruments and real-time PCR platforms.

"Maryland’s innovation economy has a strong history of responding to major public health issues, and it is a great source of pride for our region that one of our members, GenArraytion, has rapidly developed a critical test in finding a solution to the Zika virus," says Phil Schiff, CEO of the Tech Council of Maryland.

Currently, the Zika tests are available as research use only (RUO) tools that can be used to monitor mosquito populations and identify the presence of harmful pathogens for targeted mosquito eradication.

 

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