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By Paul Thomas, Senior Editor
Bret Barnhizer, CEO of NanoLogix, recently spoke with us about his company’s methods for rapid microbiological detection and ID, BioNanoPore and BioNanoFilter. BioNanoPore is a permeable membrane sandwiched between two layers of agar on a Petri plate, he says. It has a thicker layer of nutrient agar underneath and a thin film on top. The sample is placed on the film, then the membrane provides a platform for transferring microcolonies to a staining plate. Within 15 minutes of transfer, the stain will wick through the membrane and color the microcolonies. “It’s a tremendous time savings to detection, especially if someone’s just interested in total plate count,” he says.
BioNanoFilter, for detection and identification, has a nitrocellulose membrane with an antibody coating that reacts with whatever antigens might be in a sample. “BNF does both detection and, after a couple buffering processes, gives a spot-on antibody/antigen reaction and identification. So that’s gotten a lot of attention.”
What differentiates NanoLogix technologies? “Our technology only detects live cells, while PCR and other technologies detect live and dead cells,” Barnhizer says. Detection and determination of bacteria can be done within six hours, as borne out by studies at the University of Texas, he claims. It’s why like P&G Pharma and GSK are taking an interest, Barnhizer says.
Thermo Fisher Scientific has purchased TREK Diagnostic Systems to enhance its overall microbiological portfolio. Through the VersaTREK platforms, Thermo will offer automated systems for blood culture and the detection of mycobacteria. Through Sensititre, Thermo gains technology and expertise in the area of microbial resistance.
|Pall: GeneDisc Rapid System|
Pall’s Pallchek Rapid Microbiology System, based on ATP bioluminescence, has been used for a few years now for applications such as in-process or final sterility tests. Pall has also recently introduced the GeneDisc rapid system, a qPCR platform that, the company says, provides microbiological data in hours and is ideal for routine QC operations. The system has three components: a “DNA Extractor,” which prepares high-purity DNA for qPCR analysis from a broad range of samples; a plate with pre-loaded reagents for the qPCR reaction; and the “GeneDisc Cycler,” a real-time PCR platform for the “rapid, sensitive and specific” detection of microorganisms.
Current applications includes detection and quantification of E. coli, Salmonella spp., Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans and Aspergillus brasiliensis. Pall says it intends to add more to its family of assays for accelerating microbiology testing.
BioVigilant Systems has introduced its next generation Instantaneous Microbial Detection (IMD) system, for real-time environmental air monitoring in drug manufacturing environments. The IMD-A 300 and IMD-A 350 systems can immediately detect bacteria in the drug manufacturing process, the company says. IMD-A is based on fluorescence and Mie Scattering, using lasers to distinguish between inert and biologic particles. IMD-A systems continuously monitor the environment, as opposed to spot checks, sampling liters of air per minute. Visual and audible prompts warn operators when an action limit has been reached.
|BioVigilant Systems: Instantaneous Microbial Detection (IMD) system|
The company announced that it has filed Type V Drug Master Files (DMFs) for the IMD-A 300 series. Included in the filings are the test protocols and results of BioVigilant's testing against the USP<1223> Validation of Alternative Microbiological Methods guideline; environmental, vibration and shock test results; a review of the IMD-A systems' technology, functionality, subsystems, and operation; and BioVigilant's IQ/OQ/PQ protocols.
Accugenix offers the AccuPRO-ID for bacterial identification, “with greater accuracy and confidence than dated phenotypic methods offer,” the company claims. The method uses MALDI-TOF technology, based on mass spectrometry. The company also boasts a validated library based on its own genetic testing and frequency of occurrence data from over 500,000 microorganisms identified during the past decade.
Mark Calmann, Accugenix’s Senior Product Manager, presented a poster at the PDA conference earlier this year about the library. Most companies perform standard technical and financial reviews when choosing microbiological identification systems, he noted. But a key component of this review that is often neglected is the importance of the depth of a method’s library, and the accuracy and relevancy of entries used to obtain species-level identification.
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