N-Acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) was converted into the methyl ester methyl ketoside-8,9-epoxy derivative (8). Methylation of 8 followed by deprotection gave 4,7-di-O-methyl-Neu5Ac (10). Compound 10 was converted into the corresponding methyl ester-chloroacetate derivative, which was subsequently coupled to 5-bromo-indol-3-ol to give the chromogenic product (13). Deprotection of 13 gave 5-bromo-indol-3-yl 4,7-di-O-methyl-Neu5Ac (5). The product 5 was specifically cleaved by sialidase from either influenza A or influenza B virus to give an indigo-blue precipitate, but was not cleaved by several bacterial or viral sialidases tested. The properties of product 5 relative to a fluorescent substrate for sialidase were also documented.