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World-Leading Influenza Research

Nepean Hospital researchers patented the world-first High-risk Influenza Screen Test (HIST) which measures ‘an early warning signal’ released by the patient’s body into their blood to ‘kick start’ their immune system’s fight against the infection. The revolutionary test predicts which patients are at risk of rapid deterioration.

A project to develop a blood test to identify which influenza patients will need urgent, life-saving medical treatment.

The High-risk Influenza Screen Test (HIST) is the world’s first biomarker test to provide doctors with critically important information on a patient’s immune system responses to flu virus. One out of five people suffers flu infection every year and it can quickly develop into pneumonia and death.

The test needs a small drop of blood to read gene codes produced by immune system cells in response to the influenza virus, alerting doctors to individuals who are at risk of deterioration due to pneumonia and who need urgent medical treatment. It will play an important role in helping front-line doctors diagnose and treat high-risk individuals during flu epidemics or pandemics.

Photo: Associate Professor Benjamin Tang NBMLHD, Kerry Chant Chief Health Officer, Professor Tony Maclean NBMLHD, Dr Maryam Shojaei NBMLHD, Lynda Bartlett Microsoft, Sally Teoh NBMLHD, Elizabeth Koff, Brad Hazzard.

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