WHO picks institute to evaluate first SARS diagnostic kit

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 16 Apr 2003


PETALING JAYA: The World Health Organisation has picked the Institute of Medical Research to evaluate the effectiveness of the first diagnostic kit for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). 

Health Minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng said WHO had asked several countries to carry out evaluation on the new product which was produced by a German biotechnological company. 

Speaking to reporters after briefing senators on the SARS situation in Parliament House yesterday, Chua said the kit would allow doctors to confirm quickly whether a patient had SARS. 

Currently, tests to verify the presence of the coronavirus which was believed to be the cause of the illness, could take up to two weeks. 

When contacted, the local representative of the Hamburg-based company Artus said Malaysia was one the countries where it would be distributing free samples of the kit which it claimed was the first and only commercially available diagnostic kit for the coronavirus. 

Artus Malaysia Sdn Bhd managing director Dr Finn Zedler said regular customers such as universities and research institutes had expressed interest in getting these sample kits. 

“As there is some experience and equipment needed for the kit to be used, we would not be giving these samples out to all our customers.”  

He said yesterday the IMR and Universiti Malaya Medical Centre were two of its main customers in Malaysia.  

The new kit allows result-interpretation when the test is being carried out, while full results could be obtained within two hours. 

Explaining how the kit worked, Dr Zedler said polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was the basic principle used. PCR is a method of generating copies of DNA or RNA so that enough of such material could be used for analysis. 

“Fluorescent probes are released by the kit into a sample, usually obtained from the sputum of a patient because SARS is a respiratory disease. These probes will bind with the RNA of the coronavirus,” he said. 

He said the probes would thus signal the presence of the virus as well as provide the quantity of the virus.  

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Did you find this article insightful?


Next In Nation

Delivery service using private vehicles allowed to continue, says Dr Wee
Melaka tourism players concerned over claims of undocumented migrants entering the state
Enough 1kg packets of cooking oil for consumers in Negri Sembilan, says state Domestic Trade Ministry director
Jobless man pleads not guilty to robbing lawyer
House break-in and car theft syndicate busted in Johor, three arrested
National Unity Minister Halimah Mohamed Sadique tests positive for Covid-19
Alleged rape of girl in Miri police lockup a wake-up call, says Bkt Assek rep
118 workers at Pasar Borong KL test positive for Covid-19
Azalina rejects request to hold special parliamentary session on Emergency
Umno, BN MPs to have virtual meeting on special parliamentary session

Stories You'll Enjoy