Singapore Researchers Develop 15-minute SARS Test Kit

Singapore researchers have developed a test kit which can detect the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) disease in less than 15 minutes, local press reported on Friday.

The test kit was jointly developed by GeneLabs Diagnostics, a local company focusing on the development and manufacture of diagnostic test tools of infectious diseases in humans, and the government's Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, said Channelnewsasia, a local English language TV station, on its website.

The kit tests for antibodies in people who have contracted SARSwith accuracy higher than 99 percent, said the report.

It does not require any special training or sophisticated medical equipment and "works like a home pregnancy kit," it said.

This makes the test kit particularly useful in rural areas, it added.

The test kit costs less than 10 Singapore dollars (about 5.7 USdollars) each, said the report.

The outbreak of the SARS epidemic in early March infected over 200 people in the island country, claiming 32 lives.



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