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Smiths Detection’s BioFlash shown to detect airborne COVID-19
Smiths Detection, a global leader in threat detection and security screening technologies, reports that its BioFlash® Biological Identifier is capable of detecting SARS-CoV-2 in the air following tests conducted by the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID).
The tests were performed using live SARS-CoV-2 virus in a Biosafety Level 3 containment area at Fort Detrick, Maryland. The SARS-CoV-2 CANARY biosensor used in the BioFlash device demonstrated that it can quickly detect and identify the presence of low levels of aerosolized SARS-CoV-2.
The BioFlash® Biological Identifier is powered by CANARY® technology (a cell-based biosensor) and is combined with proprietary aerosol-collection techniques to provide rapid, sensitive and specific identification of biological-threat agents including viruses, toxins and bacteria.
“We are working incredibly hard to provide a tool that will support the ongoing fight against the coronavirus,” said Roland Carter, President, Smiths Detection. “BioFlash is an effective and trusted environmental monitoring tool. These test results provide valuable data in understanding the spread of COVID-19 and help protect people in indoor environments such as hospitals, schools and commercial buildings.”
USAMRIID confirmed that Smiths Detection’s BioFlash can detect down to an estimated 6,000 airborne infectious particles of the SARS-CoV-2 virus within a controlled environment. This compares to as many as one million particles emitted in a single sneeze by a person infected with SARS-CoV-2. The test results also indicate no cross-reactivity with influenza and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), an important consideration for environmental monitoring of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Further testing and research is underway at a number of US universities to collect more data on how the detection technology can help prevent outbreaks and guide both public and private organizations in COVID-19 mitigation strategies.
About BioFlash Biological Identifier
The BioFlash® Biological Identifier is a bio-aerosol collection and identification system that provides rapid, sensitive and specific identification of various pathogens including viruses, toxins and bacteria. The BioFlash has been commercially available for over 10 years and is currently used by US government and commercial clients for a number of applications.
Smiths Detection, part of Smiths Group, is a global leader in threat detection and screening technologies for aviation, ports and borders, defence and urban security markets. Our experience and history across more than 40 years at the frontline enables us to deliver the solutions needed to protect society from the threat and illegal passage of explosives, prohibited weapons, contraband, toxic chemicals and narcotics.
Our goal is simple – to provide security, peace of mind and freedom of movement upon which the world depends.
For over 50 years, USAMRIID has provided leading-edge medical capabilities to deter and defend against current and emerging biological threat agents. The Institute is the only laboratory in the Department of Defense equipped to safely study highly hazardous viruses requiring maximum containment at Biosafety Level 4. Research conducted at USAMRIID leads to medical solutions – vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, information, and training programmes – that benefit both military personnel and civilians. Established in 1969, the Institute plays a key role as the lead military medical research laboratory for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Joint Science and Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense. USAMRIID is a subordinate laboratory of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command.