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Sunday
May222011

New Test Cleared for Diagnosing Q Fever in Soldiers

Jupiterimages/Comstock(WASHINGTON) -- The first nucleic acid amplification test for diagnosing early stages of Q fever infections in military personnel serving abroad has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Q fever (Coxiella burnetii) is an infectious disease that affects U.S. soldiers serving in Iraq and other parts of the world. FDA officials say the new test is capable of indentifying and detecting the bacteria that causes the fever within four hours.

“It’s important that the FDA protect our troops from biothreats using innovative diagnostics,” said Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Q fever bacteria is considered a biothreat agent in part due to the fact that fewer than 10 organisms need to be inhaled to cause infection and its ability to withstand open environments.”

The test’s development was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and developed by Idaho Technology Inc.

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