New Test Could Monitor Bird Flu Virus Mutations

Published: Jan 11, 2006

A new test may help provide a kind of early warning system for new and dangerous mutations in the avian flu virus, U.S. researchers said on Tuesday. The test could alert scientists to when the virus starts to change into a form that easily infects people, the researchers report in the Journal of Molecular Biology. The test, called a glycan array, shows it would take very little change for the H5N1 avian influenza virus to cause a human pandemic, said Ian Wilson of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.

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