SAN DIEGO, April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- CYNTEGRA today announced the launch of VIOGENIX DUO, a rapid test for cats and dogs that detects two highly contagious influenza A viruses: H5N1, commonly called "bird flu," and the H3N8 canine influenza, a newly isolated strain of the influenza A virus, commonly called "dog flu." CYNTEGRA's diagnostic technology is similar to that used to detect influenza and SARS in humans.
The avian influenza virus H5N1 or "bird flu," can infect a number of mammal species including humans, rats and mice, ferrets, pigs, cats and dogs. It is known that domestic and non-domestic cats can become infected and killed by H5N1 by eating infected raw birds. Horizontal transmission of H5N1 has also occurred between cats. There is also evidence from Taiwan that dogs can become infected with the avian strain of the flu, H5N1, and the first suspected case of H5N1 in dogs was reported in Azerbaijan in March 2006.
Canine influenza or "dog flu" is an H3N8 virus that was believed to first infect dogs in 2004, and is spreading throughout the USA. Canine influenza produces flu-like symptoms, including sneezing, coughing, and very high fevers. Infected dogs require immediate veterinary attention. Nearly 100 percent of dogs that are exposed to the virus become infected, regardless of age or vaccination history. Early numbers suggest that one in one hundred infected dogs will die. However, some researchers have placed the figure as high as one in ten, and the number could be higher due to misdiagnosis of the virus as "kennel cough." Symptoms generally appear two to five days after a dog is exposed to the virus, and of those infected, 20 percent show no signs of disease. CYNTEGRA has the exclusive worldwide license from the University of Florida for canine flu diagnostics.
Simon Brodie, CEO of CYNTEGRA stated: "Viruses survive by adapting to both existing and new hosts. We should not be surprised by the ability of these viruses to infect cats and dogs. There is even concern that our pets might contract avian flu and transmit it to humans. CYNTEGRA's decision to launch a combined H5N1/H3N8 test immediately was twofold: first, VIOGENIX DUO provides an accurate bird flu test for both dogs and cats. Second, VIOGENIX DUO permits further differentiation between the avian and dog flu in dogs, given the similarity of symptoms."
Brodie continues: "Speed of detection is perhaps the greatest benefit of VIOGENIX DUO. In trials, VIOGENIX DUO detected dog flu within 12 hours of infection, days before the animals started to show any clinical signs of illness. With results provided in just a few hours, and a processing capacity of thousands per day, VIOGENIX DUO ensures that infected animals can be quickly isolated and further contain the infection."
CYNTEGRA is the first company to commercialize low cost, high throughout molecular diagnostics for multiple animal pathogens, with an online data reporting system for tracking disease occurrences. CYNTEGRA allows state and private veterinarians to screen for multiple pathogens at an affordable cost to the pet owner.
CYNTEGRA, formerly GeneSentinel, is a privately held biotechnology company headquartered in San Diego, California, focused on improving the lives of companion animals and their owners. Read more at http://www.cyntegra.com.
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