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Focus Tech Claims First RT-PCR SARS Diagnostic

NEW YORK, May 5 - Focus Technologies said today that it has developed a first-generation real-time PCR test to detect the presence of the coronavirus associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).


The company said its reference laboratory in Cypress, Calif., has begun performing SARS-associated coronavirus testing to help clinicians diagnose disease in suspected patients.


The test identifies genomic RNA from the coronavirus associated with SARS via reverse transcription of specific viral genomic RNA sequences followed by PCR amplification. The assay is based on previous work by World Health Organization and the Bernhard-Nocht Institute of Hamburg, Germany, to identify PCR primers for the virus.


Focus Technologies said it also offers viral culture test methods capable of growing the SARS coronavirus.

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