Abbott’s test to distinguish coronavirus and flu viruses gets U.S. authorization

(Reuters) – Abbott Laboratories said on Friday the U.S. health regulator has granted emergency use authorization for its molecular test to detect and distinguish the coronavirus and two types of flu viruses with a single test.

The test, Alinity m Resp-4-Plex, can be conducted with one nasal swab sample and can differentiate the coronavirus, flu A, flu B and another respiratory virus called respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the company said.

Abbott has a range of COVID-19 tests, including antigen, molecular and serology tests which have been authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) headquarters in White Oak, Maryland, U.S., August 29, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

The latest test, which is available in countries outside of the United States, is an important tool because the viruses cause similar symptoms but require different treatment approaches, the company said.

Abbott also said the emergency use authorization of its Alinity m SARS-CoV-2 test has been extended to include detection of COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals.

Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla and Amruta Khandekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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