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Researchers develop bird flu diagnostic device

Bird flu outbreaks cause disruption for farmers Credit: ITV Anglia

Norfolk scientists have been given a grant to help create new technology to help diagnose bird flu.

The disease has caused major problems for the region's poultry farmers, leading to restriction zones and culls. It's hoped researchers at Iceni Diagnostics want to create a hand held diagnostic machine.

The device could be used by a vet on-farm. The device would use a carbohydrate-based chemical, developed in ID's Norwich Research Park laboratories, which latches on to the avian influenza virus, providing an instant diagnosis and speeding up a process that currently requires samples to be sent off for testing. It's hoped this new method might reduce the need for precautionary mass culls of poultry in the future.

The work has been made possible thanks to a £60,000 grant from the Eastern Agri-Tech Growth Initiative.