New Indian Express - 13 Feb 2012

Now, a spray to counter Avian flu?

CHENNAI: Japanese scientists have developed an alcohol-free spray, which they claim, offers promise in tackling Avian influenza. A team of scientists headed by Prof Sunao Kubota, a well-known surgeon from Japan, has come out with the liquid that is reported to bring down avian influenza virus considerably upon spraying.

Meanwhile, to check the efficacy of the spray, preliminary laboratory tests were also done in King Institute of Preventive Medicine and Research, Chennai, and the liquid was found to be effective for hand disinfection against bacteria, viruses and fungi. The findings were presented at a national conference of the Indian Foundation of Influenza here on Sunday on the topic “Molecular Perspectives and Therapeutic Strategies for Influenza”.

The liquid, Clinister, is a formulation containing sodium citrate and other additives and can be used as a mist spray for reduction of airborne pathogens, according to the paper presented at the conference.

The developers, G N Corporation, Japan, claimed that the mist would be useful in dental clinics, operation theatres, consultation rooms and laboratories.

However, sources in the King Institute said that the liquid was tested in laboratory conditions and it required to be put through several other tests, including a thorough analysis of the liquid and how it would neutralise the virus. While admitting that the product had high marketing potential in India, the efficacy test was only a preliminary step.

King Institute
a Grade I Lab

The diagnostic lab at the King Institute of Preventive Medicine and Research has been recently upgraded to Grade I by the Indian Council for Medical Research. This means that the age-old Institute would be able to increase its infrastructure for diagnostic facilities for more number of viruses.

Already, the King institute handles diagnosis for 12 viruses.

With the upgrading, the institute now becomes a second referral centre after the National Institute of Virology, Pune.

Sources said that the institute was planning to begin diagnostic facilities for viruses including Cytomegalo, BK and JC virus, Coxsackie, Rabies and Hepatitis.