Currently, most influenza strains go undiagnosed or are identified in a laboratory miles from a doctor’s office. If the strain is diagnosed, the time between a throat swab and a final read out can be days, if not weeks.
As the risk of a flu pandemic increases, healthcare professionals must be able to quickly distinguish one flu strain from another. Therefore, NIAID supports research to design diagnostics that are faster, more accurate, more cost-effective, and more portable.
New technologies being pursued include those that examine influenza viruses at the molecular level. By examining the genetic makeup of influenza viruses, such tests could identify both the virus type and subtype simultaneously.
Last Updated December 22, 2015