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Bio-Rad Laboratories has announced the launch of its PCR test for flu and COVID-19, after the product met the requirements for CE-IVD mark accreditation. The single molecular test, named the Reliance SARS-CoV-2/FluA/FluB RT-PCR Kit (IVD), is designed for use by clinical diagnostic labs undertaking testing for COVID-19.

The test analyses nasopharyngeal swab specimens and can detect COVID-19’s nucleocapsid gene, as well as the M1 gene present in flu A and the NS2 gene of flu B. Because the test targets COVID’s nucleocapsid gene, as opposed to the spike protein, performance is not affected by currently known variants of the virus.

With people having had minimal exposure to each other since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the key concerns as lockdown restrictions end is that increased contact between people could result in a significant surge of viruses like flu over the winter. Combined with likely increases in COVID-19, there are fears this could overwhelm health services.

Bio-Rad Laboratories Global Director of Marketing, Gene Expression Business & Cloud Software Solutions, Life Sciences, Steven Blakely said: “With the upcoming flu season, a continuing COVID-19 pandemic, and many countries opening up and returning to the workplace, clinicians need a sensitive, reliable, and convenient way to detect common respiratory viruses and to differentiate cases of COVID-19 infection that do not involve flu A or flu B infection.”

“We are pleased to launch the Reliance SARS-CoV-2/FluA/FluB RT-PCR Kit in Europe, providing much-needed expanded testing capacity. The kit simultaneously tests for all three viruses with high speed, sensitivity, and specificity, valuable for labs doing this important work.”

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