PositiveID discovers influenza with Firefly Dx prototype

PositiveID discovers influenza with Firefly Dx prototype | Courtesy of

PositiveID Corp., a company that develops biological detection and diagnostics solutions, recently announced that its new Firefly Dx breadboard prototype polymerase chain reaction (PCR) pathogen detection system has been successful in detecting influenza.

Influenza, a common RNA virus, needs reverse transcription in order to make cDNA. Flu viruses must do this before performing PCR.

While testing, researchers with PositiveID used a third-party Human Seasonal Influenza Virus and assay to detect the Type A virus. There was no alteration in the chemistry ratio or design of the assay. Scientists are testing for other strains, including influenza H1, H3 and B.

This new test uses Firefly Dx breadboard, a system that is notably faster than the typical laboratory equipment protocols. Now the test results are available in minutes rather than hours or even days. The test is engineered to screen and detect numerous virus strains at once with just one test.

"These latest testing results are significant because testing for the influenza virus using existing standard PCR protocols requires additional sample preparation steps prior to performing PCR," PositiveID CEO and Chairman William Caragol said. "With our Firefly Dx breadboard prototype we are able to deliver sample-to-result detection in one step in minutes. That time savings can be critical for point-of-need detection during an outbreak of any pathogen."