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National Institute of Allergy and
Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
http://www.niaid.nih.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2006

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NIAID MEDIA AVAILABILITY
New “GreeneChip” Identifies Multiple Pathogens Rapidly and Accurately

WHAT: Rapid and accurate diagnosis of infectious diseases helps public health officials manage disease outbreaks and enables health care providers to prescribe the correct treatment early on. Many different pathogens, notably those that cause emerging infectious diseases, have no distinctive symptoms. This makes diagnosis difficult, particularly in the early stages of infection when interventional strategies are optimal. An international group of researchers has recently developed a new technology for pinpointing pathogens. Called the “GreeneChip,” this device consists of a glass slide onto which are attached nearly 30,000 pieces of genetic material taken from thousands of different viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites. When human fluid and tissue samples are applied to the chip, these probes will stick to any closely related genetic material in the samples. This allows the rapid and specific identification of any pathogens therein—even those related to but genetically distinct from the ones represented on the chip. In a new paper this week, the researchers describe the first successful tests of the technology, which include detecting a previously undiagnosed fatal case of malaria that occurred during an outbreak of Marburg hemorrhagic fever in Angola in 2004-2005. This technology may improve the capacity for emerging infectious diseases surveillance and outbreak response.
ARTICLE: “Panmicrobial oligonucleotide array for diagnosis of infectious diseases” by G Palacios et al. Emerging Infectious Diseases http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/13/1/73.htm(2006). This study was conducted by scientists at Columbia University; Stanford University; the University of Chicago; the Institute of Enzymology, Budapest, Hungary; the Public Health Agency of Canada, Winnipeg, Canada; the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases; the National Institutes of Health; the Robert Koch Institut, Berlin; Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid; the World Health Organization; and the University of Manitoba.
SPOKESPERSONS:

Maria Y. Giovanni, Ph.D., Assistant Director for Microbial Genomics and Advanced Technology, NIAID Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

Karen A. Lacourciere, Ph.D., Program Officer, Basic Influenza Research, Respiratory Disease Branch, NIAID Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

CONTACT: To schedule interviews, contact Jason Socrates Bardi in the NIAID News and Public Information Branch, (301) 402-1663, niaidnews@niaid.nih.gov.

NIAID conducts and supports research—at NIH, throughout the United States, and worldwide—to study the causes of infectious and immune-mediated diseases, and to develop better means of preventing, diagnosing and treating these illnesses. News releases, fact sheets and other NIAID-related materials are available on the NIAID Web site at www.niaid.nih.gov.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

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Archive

NIAID Archive

Important note: Information on this page was accurate at the time of publication. This page is no longer being updated.
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Last Updated December 05, 2006