Meridian Diagnostics Inc. said Tuesday that the FDA approved afourth product in the company's line of Premier enzymeimmunoassays. The test identifies the disease,histoplasmosis, which is caused by a fungus, and is prevalentin the Midwest and in the Ohio and Mississippi River valleys.

Effects of the disease range from mild flu-like symptoms upto severe respiratory complications and potential death.Meridian's product replaces a more tedious, time-consumingand significantly less accurate testing procedure, the companysaid.

It yields results in as little as 65 minutes instead of inseveral hours or overnight. The company will begin shippingthe product within two weeks.

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.