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'ProMED' means 'Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases' and is the Internet-based reporting programme of the International Society for Infectious Diseases (ISID). The moderators are international experts in their field who screen, review, and investigate reports before posting to the network. ProMED-mail is independent and free of political constraints.

To read on ProMed that diagnostic testing should now be "out of the laboratory" is very cheering. On Saturday August 11 (2007), a ProMED moderator, in the course of a five paragraph comment about the UK situation, (

For six years warmwell and others have been asking that the analysis of samples should happen at the place where samples are actually taken, using already available, ever more affordable diagnostic kits, rather than be taken by car, train or air to the reference laboratory. Results can now be obtained in the field within minutes rather than hours and days, can detect FMDv before the onset of clinical disease and the "irreversible actions" such as we saw at Hunts Hill farm can be avoided. The "prototype RT-PCR" mentioned to our correspondent seems not to have been used on the suspect pig there. It is hard for an outsider to discover much - yet we read here for example: Even on a farm with a lame pig so close to an IP, it seems that precipitate action might have been avoided. Mention of patents does make one consider what the reason might be for the apparent secrecy surrounding the use of rapid diagnosis in the UK . Ironic perhaps then that we were reliably told this week that "the whole portable PCR field will be transformed with very cheap machines that are highly automated within the year".
































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