Tuesday 22 July 2014

New high-tech pathogen-identification method

Using a new method for identifying bacteria and fungi in patient specimens led to a 92 percent cost reduction in the reagents needed to run clinical microbiology tests. From April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014, scientists at UNC Hospitals, in the U.S. led a cost-analysis study. The lab used the MALDI-TOF MS to identify specific microorganisms from 21,930 samples from patients at UNC Hospitals. Specimens consisted of enteric pathogens, enterococci, gram negative non-glucose fermenters, staphylococci, streptococci, and yeast.

MALDI-TOF MS stands for Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight mass spectrometry. It analyzes proteins from incubated specimens and identifies the specimens by comparing them to known microorganisms in a database. Two companies -- Bruker Corporation and bioMérieux, Inc. -- have developed slightly different versions of the technology.

The new test results were presented at the 2014 General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Boston on May 18.

Source: University of North Carolina School of Medicine

Posted by Tim Sandle

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