August 02, 2016
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One-hour test detects MRSA, CoNS

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A novel 1-hour test can rapidly detect multiple types of drug-resistant Staphylococcus bacterial infections, including both MRSA and coagulase-negative staphylococci, or CoNS, a more common infection, according to a news release.

Developed by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Northern Arizona University, the genomics-based test is different than others on the market, according David Engelthaler, PhD, director of programs and operations in the pathogen genomics division at TGen.

Engelthaler said current tests ignore CoNS.

“The TGen MRSA test is a real-time test that detects presence of methicillin resistance in both S. aureus and coagulase-negative Staph that are important causes of hospital-acquired infections, whereas others only look for S. aureus,” Engelthaler told Infectious Disease News.

MRSA, an antibiotic-resistant form of Staphylococcus, kills more Americans every year than HIV. However, drug-resistant CoNS is a much more common problem in terms of incidence and total cost, and such infections continue to increase due to the greater use of implantable biomaterials and medical devices, according to the release.

MRSA test

A colorized scanning electron micrograph of a grouping of MRSA bacteria.

Source: CDC/Jim Biddle

The new test has been licensed to DxNA, a molecular diagnostics company based in Utah. According to the release, it uses three separate proprietary biomarkers and a proprietary methodology to determine which types of Staphylococcus are present, and which carry the gene that causes antibiotic resistance.

The test currently is protected under a patent issued by Australia, with similar patents expected to follow in the United States, Brazil, Canada, Japan, the European Union and other countries.

Steve Yozwiak,spokesman for TGen, told Infectious Disease News that the other patents are expected “in the coming weeks and months.” – by Gerard Gallagher

Disclosures: Engelthaler and Yozwiak are employees of TGen.