Technology developed by Fujifilm could soon be used to help prevent the rapid spread of mutated flu viruses, according to a press report in Japan.

A Fujifilm UK spokeswoman today confirmed that such technology has been announced by the firm’s Japanese HQ but she was not yet able to provide details.

The technology is said to raise the sensitivity of the flu virus testing device by ‘100 times’, according to this week’s issue of Pen News Weekly, a Japanese photo industry newsletter.

‘The company plans to start selling the new influenza virus detection devices utilising the new technology and related chips for testing the highly toxic H5N1 bird flu in 2011,’ adds the Pen article.

‘To test for the presence of target viruses, samples will be taken from the trial subject?s nose and throat. Those samples will then be smeared on the surface of the testing chips that are coated with a solution.’

Pen adds: ‘Any chip containing the target virus will show a thick line. The higher sensitivity of the rapid testing device stems from a solution that was developed leveraging the company’s expertise in photo film.’

Fujifilm’s Luminescent Image Analyzer LAS-1000plus – which houses a CCD camera – is known to have previously been used to help analyse such viruses.