Ebola testing reagent put into production in China

By Li Jingrong
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, August 22, 2014
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An Ebola virus testing reagent developed with independent intellectual property rights by the Academy of Military Medical Sciences of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has been approved for domestic production, the Beijing News reported Thursday.

With this new reagent, the test for the Ebola virus can be completed in only three to four hours, according to its developer, the Institute of Radiation Medicine of the PLA military academy. The reagent therefore has an important technical application in early diagnosis, prevention and control of the virus.

A panel of experts from the PLA General Logistics Department and the Ministry of Health reviewed the "Ebola virus nucleic acid testing reagent" for production approval.

The reagent makes use of the "composite probe" technology used in the development of the testing reagents for H1N1 and H7N9 influenza viruses and the "super bacteria" resistance gene NDM-1.

Using this reagent, testing personnel extracted nucleic acid from Ebola patients' samples in a Level-3 bio-safety laboratory through the fluorescence PCR technique.

The new reagent has high sensitivity and specificity. At present, very few countries in the world can provide similar testing reagents or experimental treatments, its developers claim.

The death rate for Ebola patients currently stands at 90 percent, much higher than that of SARS patients (10 percent), according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

As of August 18, the WHO reported that the current Ebola outbreak has so far infected 2,473 people and killed 1,350 in four West African countries -- Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

In view of news reports about recent suspected cases in many countries, the WHO reiterated on August 20 that, to its knowledge, there have not been any confirmed Ebola cases anywhere outside these four West African countries.

To prevent any possible Ebola epidemic outbreak in China, the central government has released specific prevention and treatment plans requiring all medical departments to report any suspected or diagnosed cases within two hours.

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