Breakthrough Platform Improves Infectious Disease Diagnosis and Control

Breakthrough Platform Improves Infectious Disease Diagnosis and Control

2A first-of-its-kind diagnostics technology platform to enable health-care professionals to more quickly diagnose serious infections is now avail-able in Europe and other CE-marking recognized countries worldwide.

The new platform called IRIDICA was developed by Abbott (Abbott Park, IL, USA; www.abbott.com) and it can identify over 1,000 infection-causing pathogens in less than 6 hours – much quicker than the current standard-of-care (culture-based testing), which can take days, in some cases weeks. Every minute can count with serious infections and this technology was developed to give doctors Information needed to act more quickly and effectively in making life-saving decisions. IRIDICA, which currently offers 5 testing panels, has the potential to change how pathogens are detected and identified.

„Doctors need better tools to diagnose people with serious infections,” said Prof. Francois Simon, MD, PhD, chief of Microbiology at Hopital Saint-Louis (Paris, France). „For those with sepsis, the survival rate decreases each hour treatment is delayed.”

IRIDICA employs Polymerase Chain Reaction/Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry (PCR/ESI-MS) to rapidly identify infection-causing pathogens directly from a patient’s sample, without culture. According to Abbotts „RApid Diagnosis of Infections in the CriticAlly IIL” (RADICAL) study results, the technology was able to detect pathogens when the current standard-of-care did not. In the study, after retrospectively comparing the results of Abbotts technology versus culture, an independent panel of physicians concluded it would have prescribed a different course of treatment in nearly 60% of cases evaluated. Additional analysis suggested it could help lower associated health care costs by 30% and reduce hospital stays for people with serious infections by up to 8 days (for a hospital that sees approximately 500 patients with blood-related infections each year. Costs were derived from intensive care and non-intensive care lengths of stay).

„Currently, when a person enters a hospital with a suspected infection, it may take several days before the source can be accurately identified,” said David J. Ecker, PhD, divisional vice president, R&D, Ibis Biosciences, Ab­bott, „IRIDICA can offer a better and faster way.”

IRIDICA also represents ą step forward in combating overuse of antibiotics. „Slower diagnostic methods, like cultures, have led to the overuse of broad-spectrum an­tibiotics and antimicrobials and an emergence of new resistant superbugs,” said Jean-Louis Vincent, MD, PhD, professor of Intensive Care, Universite Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium). „By identifying pathogens faster with IRIDICA, a doctor can quickly prescribe the most effective therapy, potentially limiting the indiscriminate use of broadspectrum antibiotics.”

Image: The IRIDICA platform can identify more than 1,000 infection-causing pathogens in less than six hours, versus the current standard of care (culture-based testing), which can take days (Photo courtesy of Abbott).