Molecular diagnostics technology aids management of E. coli crisis

Tuesday, 14 June, 2011


Luminex Corporation and the Kliniken der Stadt Koln, Institute of Pathology and Institute for Hygiene have announced that Luminex's newly released xTAG Gastrointestinal Pathogen Panel (GPP) is being used successfully as a first-line screen for patients at Kliniken der Stadt Koln suspected of having an E. coli infection.

This includes the detection of hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) causing Shiga-like toxin producing E. coli strain responsible for the current outbreak.

Kliniken der Stadt Koln Institut fur Pathologie worked with Luminex to quickly implement this new diagnostic assay when they successfully showed xTAG GPP was able to accurately detect the outbreak pathogens in patient samples.

As of 7 June, CET World Health Organisation reported 2745 people in 12 European countries have been sickened by E. coli. Since the beginning of May, there have been 722 notified cases of HUS and 25 deaths - 19 fatalities resulting from HUS infections and six fatalities from E. coli non-HUS infections.

Staff at Kliniken der Stadt Koln Institut fur Pathologie, who use the Luminex xTAG Respiratory Viral Panel (RVP), have quickly adopted xTAG GPP as an important first-line screen to help manage the current outbreak in Germany.

Since xTAG GPP can rapidly and simultaneously identify 95% of acute gastroenteritis pathogens, infected patients can be quickly identified and appropriately managed. Positive STEC patients can be closely monitored and treated in parallel with confirmatory testing. Additionally, patients who are infected with other causative infectious agents, or those who are negative, can be quickly identified and receive appropriate care or be discharged, thus making healthcare resources available to those most in need.

"Prior to the approval last month of xTAG GPP, we did not have a test that would allow us to rapidly detect a comprehensive array of disease-causing pathogens for infectious gastroenteritis," said PD Dr Frauke Mattner, of Kliniken der Stadt, Institute of Pathology and Institute for Hygiene. "The ability of xTAG GPP to detect not only several different types of E. coli, but also the presence of the Stx-2 gene, a key marker of this more severe STEC strain, is allowing rapid identification of patients who may be suffering from an infection of this outbreak strain. This innovative technology is an important advance and an invaluable tool in the management of the current crisis."

"We are pleased and proud that our new innovative assay, xTAG GPP, is helping healthcare professionals in Germany rapidly identify patients who may be infected with this pathogen and is assisting them during this crisis," said Patrick J Balthrop, President and CEO of Luminex. "All of my Luminex colleagues across the globe share a serious concern for those affected and hope for a resolution to the current situation as quickly as possible."

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