Monday, February 28, 2011

vermicon AG Enhances Microbiological Control of Starter Cultures During Cheese Production

vermicon AG proclaims positive news for all cheese manufacturers. Effective monitoring of the microbiological structure of starter cultures during all stages of cheese production considerably helps supervising and controlling microbiology of the production processes.

Cheese production requires a complex interaction of raw materials, production technology and microorganisms. Key element for constant quality is always microbiology, independent on production technology and target group of the final product. Curdling, ripening, hole creation and the intensity of certain flavor components are results of the metabolic processes of bacteria. For a realistic monitoring of the so-called starter cultures it is necessary to identify and quantify the respective bacteria. These are often hard to differentiate by conventional methods. Additionally, the composition and activity of the bacteria populations has to be analyzed.

Especially for the development of new products or problems during cheese production direct insights are essential for coherent findings. Conventional microbiological systems are doomed to fail. „We provide you with the direct insight into cheese,“ Dr. Jiri Snaidr, CEO of vermicon, states. "Our newly developed system for starter cultures in cheese often brings completely new findings for producers." The procedure, which is based on the VIT® gene probe technology does not rely on the indirect way of cultivation and subsequent differentiation. Instead it detects the composition of the bacteria populations cultivation-independently and directly in the sample. By applying specific gene probes starter cultures are individually identified and quantified directly within the sample without pre-enrichment. The activity of used starter cultures is specifically monitored and determined. The method is conducted within the used raw material (such as cultures, lyophilisates, milk), process samples or end products. It is already applied successfully for international cheese manufacturers.

BIOTECON Diagnostics Receives Two New AOAC Certificates

BIOTECON Diagnostics has successfully completed AOAC-RI validation for its foodproof® Listeria monocytogenes and E. coli O157 Detection Kits, 5‘Nuclease and the corresponding DNA extraction kit. These AOAC-RI approvals as Performance Tested MethodsSM expands the already broad range of certified foodproof® real-time PCR products.

The foodproof® Listeria monocytogenes and E. coli O157 Detection Kits, 5‘Nuclease are very specific and sensitive tests to detect these food associated and pathogenic organisms within 24 hours. The AOAC validations have been conducted with a broad variety of foods (e.g. dairy, meat, fish and seafood, fruits and fruit juices, eggs and egg products and others).

Together with the foodproof® real-time PCR kits the foodproof® ShortPrep II Kit, a system for the fast and easy DNA-extraction from a variety of complex matrices, was certified as well.

Neogen’s Enhanced Test for E. coli O157:H7 Receives AOAC Approval

Neogen Corporation announced that its enhanced rapid test for E. coli O157:H7 has received approval from AOAC International. Neogen’s test kit, Reveal 2.0 for E. coli O157:H7, provides the food industry a quick, accurate and easy method of detecting this pathogen without compromising sensitivity or specificity. The AOAC’s process validated the accuracy of the Reveal 2.0 for E. coli O157:H7 system when testing food samples.

“The AOAC approval further validates our test as an invaluable tool to food producers,” said Neogen’s Ed Bradley. “The system cuts the wait time for results and eliminates the potential for cross-reactivity with E. coli O157 non-H7 or common cross-reactors like Citrobacter.” The Reveal 2.0 for E. coli O157:H7 system provides results in 12 to 20 hours, with only 15 minutes of test development time. The system uses Neogen’s new proprietary media which is specifically balanced for use with this end point test.

In the AOAC study, Reveal 2.0 for E. coli O157:H7 was found to be an effective procedure for the detection of E. coli O157:H7 in 65 and 375 gram samples of raw ground beef and beef trim. The testing system utilizes a new antibody sourced from the USDA and incorporates USDA-specified sample sizes with reduced media volumes for more manageable samples. Also, the test does not require a heat kill step, which reduces the time to results and sample touch time.

The foodborne illness caused by E. coli O157:H7 is generally due to eating raw, incompletely cooked, or cross- contaminated foods. Neogen’s comprehensive line of products it offers to the food industry also includes a full line of agricultural cleaners and disinfectants, and rodenticides to stop the spread of infectious disease from animal to animal and from production facilities to the consumer. In December, Neogen’s enhanced rapid test for Salmonella, Reveal 2.0 for Salmonella, received approval from AOAC International.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Reuters Television Report features NanoLogix Biotechnology and University of Texas Health Science Center Clinical Trial

NanoLogix, an innovator in the accelerated detection and identification of live-cell microorganisms, announced today Reuters Television has featured the NanoLogix rapid diagnostic technology in its global business coverage. Produced by Rob Muir, the report from Reuters features an interview with NanoLogix CEO Bret Barnhizer while the company was exhibiting at the American Society for Microbiology BioDefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting and Exhibition held in Washington, DC (February 7-9, 2011). The report includes an additional interview with Dr. Jonathan Faro of the University of Texas Health Science Center- Houston. Dr. Faro is currently leading a 300 patient trial utilizing NanoLogix BNP/BNF/Quick-Test technologies for rapid detection of Group B Streptococcus (GBS).

Group B Strep is one of the leading health threats for newborns. Current methods for detection and identification take 48 to 72+ hours for results. The new technology from NanoLogix enables detection, identification, and determination of antibiotic sensitivity in 6 hours or less. NanoLogix will return to Washington DC April 19-21, 2011 for the Food Safety Summit, where the company's technology will be on exhibit.

Accelr8 Announces Presentation of Preliminary Results in Pilot ICU Study, Plus Advances in Product Engineering

Accelr8 Technology Corporation announced that clinical research collaborators at the Denver Health Medical Center received notification of acceptance for presentation of interim research results at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society. The meeting will be held in May. The presentation will describe “early look” results from a clinical pilot study that uses Accelr8’s BACcel™ rapid diagnostic system. The research uses specimens from ICU patients under an Institutional Review Board approved protocol with informed patient consent. Specific aims include comparison of diagnostic speed and accuracy against results from standard laboratory culturing.

The BACcel™ system analyzes live microbial cells extracted directly from a patient specimen and eliminates the need for days of laboratory cultures. In previous research, the system demonstrated the ability to report quantitative identification within two hours after obtaining a specimen, and major drug resistance expression types within a total of six hours. Standard culturing methods require 2-3 days, which is too late to improve outcomes for critically ill patients who acquire drug-resistant infections with endemic hospital pathogens.

The company also disclosed that it has begun to integrate its automated microscopy and fluidic robotics into a single instrument. The company established technical milestones in the second calendar quarter for specialty suppliers to demonstrate subsystems and integration feasibility. Based on supplier input, management believes that “alpha” systems will become available to international key opinion leaders in about one year.

According to David Howson, Accelr8’s president, “these two events reflect the substantial progress we’ve made in field studies and in making the transition to a fully automated hospital product. The May presentation offers the first exposure to the Pulmonary Medicine community for the BACcel™ system. The study itself is designed to answer important questions that researchers have not previously been able to address because there has been no method to quickly analyze emergent infections. Our system is now closing that critical gap,” Howson concluded.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

BD Expands Industrial Microbiology Rapid Methods Portfolio by Acquiring Worldwide Rights to Market the Micro PRO

Industrial microbiologists now have a new tool that was designed specifically to help quality control laboratories rapidly screen raw materials, as well as in-process and finished goods, for the presence of microorganisms that can threaten product quality.

BD Biosciences and BD Diagnostics, two business segments of BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), announced today the addition of the new BD FACSMicroCount flow cytometry system to the Company's industrial microbiology portfolio. BD obtained worldwide rights from Advanced Analytical Technologies to market the instrument, which was previously known as the Micro PRO Microbial Detection System.

"Acquiring this new platform allows us to draw upon expertise from across the Company," said James Glasscock, President of Cell Analysis, BD Biosciences. "It will allow us to leverage our collective expertise in industrial microbiology quality control and flow cytometry to benefit our customers." This BD FACSMicroCount system is especially suited for makers of pharmaceuticals, personal care products, beverages, probiotics, and home cleaning products, as well as water treatment facilities. It screens for a variety of microorganisms including bacteria, yeast, mold, spirochetes, Mycoplasma, and parasite cysts. The system reduces the time to result and automates traditional methods, helping to reduce production cycles and achieve cost savings, especially in labor, inventory and warehouse costs.

"Adding this instrument to our portfolio supports BD's growth-through-innovation strategy and reinforces our position as a leader in industrial microbiology by offering customers the widest choice of microbial detection platforms," said Tom Polen, President, BD Diagnostics. "While complementing our existing microbiology media and PCR products, this new system satisfies an important customer need that helps ensure product safety and meet ever-increasing compliance standards."

The BD FACSMicroCount System is specially designed for rapid microbial enumeration and detection. Users label microorganisms with BD FACSMicroCount fluorescent dyes for detection, differentiation between living and dead organisms and enumeration. These samples are then injected into the flow cell where labeled microbes pass single file through a focused laser beam, which causes the microbes to emit fluorescence and scattered laser light that allow the system to count and record them.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Bruker Launches pTD™, a Compact, Lab Chip-based, Fully Automated and Fast Toxin ID System for Homeland Security

Bruker today announces the North American launch of its compact, fully automated and fast toxin identification system, called pTD™ (portable Toxin Detector), at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Bio-Defense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting in Washington, DC. The novel, benchtop, push-button pTD system is intended for smaller, field and mobile laboratories for use by non-expert operators in homeland security applications.

While detection capabilities for bacterial or viral agents exist, using either PCR-based or proteomic fingerprinting identification (e.g. Bruker MALDI Biotyper), the current technologies for the detection and identification of toxins in the field are insensitive and slow, or involve complicated sample preparation in specialized laboratories. The unique, new Bruker pTD system greatly simplifies and accelerates the process of detecting a potential biological terror attack using toxins. The pTD system uses a novel, lab chip-based, fully automated ELISA process that allows the simultaneous identification of five toxins with an order of magnitude better sensitivity than traditional techniques. The fully automated pTD includes controls to minimize false positive or negative alarms - with toxin identification and quality control all in less than 30 minutes.

The pTD system accepts liquid and solid samples and does not require any external sample preparation steps. Every sample is automatically checked for five toxins simultaneously using multiplexed, proprietary lab chips. Toxin identification is based on ELISA assays using highly specific antibodies, combined with an electrochemical readout. All sample preparation steps are performed automatically inside the lab chip, and the results are displayed on the control computer. Before shutdown, the system automatically decontaminates itself internally.

The pTD system, which has been co-developed with Analytik Jena AG, presently identifies the five toxins Botulinum Toxin A, B and E, as well as Ricin and Staphylococcus enterotoxin B on one chip. Additional toxin ID chips are under development.

Frank Thibodeau, Vice President of Bruker Detection Corporation, stated: "Unfortunately, compared to the complexity of producing and using bacteria or viruses for terror attacks, toxins are potentially easier to produce and can be a serious threat. With the increasing threat by toxins, the easy to use, fully automated, fast, very sensitive and fieldable pTD system is vital for homeland security and defense applications."

Soleris Technology is now used by World’s Largest Food and Nutraceutical Companies

Neogen Europe’s Soleris technology is now used by approximately 200 of the world’s largest food and nutraceutical companies to detect indicator microbes in a fraction of the time needed for traditional methods. The Soleris system is a rapid optical system for the detection of microbial contamination based on an innovative application of classical microbiology. The assay measures microbial growth by monitoring biochemical reactions that generate a colour change in the media as micro-organisms grow. The sensitivity of the system allows detection in a fraction of the time needed for traditional methods, with less labour and handling time.

Soleris features the quickest automated quality indicator system protocols, including Yeast & Mould in 60-72 hours; Total Viable Count (TVC) in 6-8 hours; Coliforms in 9-10 hours; E.Coli in 7-10 hours; and Lactic Acid Bacteria in 30-35 hours. Using the Soleris system enables operators to easily identify, monitor and map problematic spots in their facilities. With the ability to provide trend analysis and multiple format reports with a simple click of a computer mouse, the system helps to ensure that all critical control points are stable and alerts the user to any possible deviation from established quality standards. Approximately 80-85% of all microbiology testing is for spoilage/ indicator organisms. These are classes of micro-organisms that are responsible for the majority of food product recalls and therefore considerable economic losses.

The Soleris direct vial is based upon the well-known process that bacteria feed on sugars, convert those sugars into acids and lower the pH of their culture media. A critical level of bacterial growth will cause the pH indicator to change colour and cause the Soleris system to record a positive result for that sample.

Probiosys Applies for DSIR Certification & DBT Projects as Part of Rapid Microbiology Initiatives

Probiosys, subsidiary division of Automed Systems has applied for certification from the Department of Science and Industrial Research (DSIR) as part of its increased focus in the area of rapid microbiology. The certification, according to the company, would help to increase its efforts to carry out advanced rapid microbiology tests for the life-sciences industry. The market for rapid microbiology products in India is expected to grow ten-fold in the next 3 years as organisations begin using it for in process applications. Rapid Microbiology also provides innovative methods for faster detection of microbial contamination in the manufacture of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and personal care products.

The study of microbes has advanced to a higher level where rapid microbiology is taking the face of biotechnology. Rapid microbiology is the latest technique which industries across the world are implementing to meet the challenges of better product quality and compliance. In order to expand the market, Probiosys organized a rapid microbiology summit in Bangalore to help the life sciences industry to adopt conventional microbiological assays and the opportunities for implementing new, rapid methods.

Indian companies like Panecea Biotech, Biocon, Glenmark, Apotex, Natural Remedies, Reckitt Benckiser, Gangagen have implemented rapid microbiology processes to stay ahead of the market. “The challenge before us is to tap newer areas and applications like adoption of rapid microbiology in blood banks”, stated Prakash. Rapid Microbiology is an emerging technology and will take some time for Indian companies to adopt it. Within the next 10 years it is going to change people’s perception about microbiology, stated Sourabh Mathur, Business Head, Probiosys.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Rapid Micro Biosystems Partners with Life Technologies Corporation on Automated Microbial Detection - Growth Direct™ System

Rapid Micro Biosystems
One Oak Park Drive
2nd Floor
Bedford, MA 01730
Contact Mark Severns
phone: +1 781-271-1444 x267

Rapid Micro Biosystems, a leading provider of automated, non-destructive, rapid microbial detection, today announced a sales and marketing agreement with Life Technologies Corporation, a provider of innovative life science solutions. For quality control microbiology customers, the agreement combines best in class automated microbial detection and enumeration with gold-standard microbial identification.

The agreement leverages the strengths of both companies, benefiting customers who struggle daily with time consuming, manual processes, and product safety testing where accuracy and time to results are critical. The goal of the agreement is to maximize industry adoption of the complementary technologies. The Growth Direct™ System from Rapid Micro Biosystems enables rapid microbial detection, and the MicroSEQ® Rapid Microbial Identification System from Life Technologies facilitates accurate bacterial and fungal identification.

“We are excited with the opportunity this alliance presents to our customers,” said Steve Delity, Chief Executive Officer of Rapid Micro Biosystems. “Rapid Micro is the leader in automated rapid detection, and through our collaboration with Life Technologies, the leader in microbial identification, we create a compelling value proposition for the marketplace.”

“The agreement with Rapid Micro Biosystems is part of our larger commitment to address the needs of microbiologists in product quality and safety testing,” said Tony Hunt, General Manager of Pharma Analytics at Life Technologies. “We are pleased to add the Growth Direct™ System for microbial detection to our overall microbiology portfolio.”

For more information, visit

Rapid Micro Biosystems, headquartered in Bedford, Massachusetts, provides innovative products for faster, automated detection of microbial contamination in the manufacture of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and personal care products. The company’s Growth Direct™ System detects contamination earlier, delivering compelling economic benefits to manufacturers while improving their quality process. The Growth Direct™ System is the first and only automated system that accelerates testing, fits with current regulatory practices, and addresses all key applications. For more information, visit

Monday, February 07, 2011

Abbott Introduces Biothreat Assay for PLEX-ID™ System

Abbott announced today that it has introduced the PLEX-ID™ Biothreat Assay, which is designed to detect and distinguish 17 different biothreat pathogens. This assay enables rapid and accurate detection of potentially dangerous microorganisms that could pose serious threats to human health, food, water and other resources.

"While public health officials concerned with bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases are detecting known, conventional infectious agents, it's becoming very clear there is a need for broader detection and characterization of pathogens for biodefense," said David Ecker, Ph.D., divisional vice president and general manager, of Abbott's Ibis Biosciences subsidiary. "The PLEX-ID system's new biothreat assay will serve that need by identifying and quantifying, for non-diagnostic purposes, a broad set of pathogens including bacteria and families of viruses in humans and animals."

The PLEX-ID Biothreat Assay permits analysis of direct specimens, such as blood, water, food and air filter samples, and provides results in less than eight hours. Seventeen different bioagents are targeted in the new test, including Bacillus anthracis, E. coli, salmonella, ebola virus, and avian influenza viruses. PLEX-ID offers the unique capability to detect and identify these, and other, bacterial and viral biothreat agents while also differentiating similar organisms.

The PLEX-ID system can perform identification and typing of expected and unknown microorganisms from direct specimens, which saves time while providing critical information without the need to grow the agent in culture first. Currently intended for non-diagnostic use, PLEX-ID is the only high-throughput technology that offers rapid and broad identification, detailed genotyping and characterization, and recognition of emerging organisms. The system employs a combination of molecular technologies, including polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for gene amplification and mass spectrometry analysis to rapidly characterize known and unknown organisms.

PLEX-ID is designed to identify a broad range of bacteria, viruses, fungi, certain parasites, and also provide information about drug resistance, virulence, and strain type. Anticipated public health and biodefense applications include epidemiologic research and identification of emerging or previously unknown agents. In addition, the system is being used for forensic characterization of human samples.

Friday, February 04, 2011

MicroPhage Names Don Mooney to Serve as New CEO

MicroPhage, Inc. announced today that Don Mooney has been named as the new Chief Executive Officer of the company effective February 3, 2011. "The board selected Don on the basis of his deep diagnostics experience and proven leadership abilities particularly in launching new products, handling regulatory issues and creating effective strategic partnerships," said Gary Mesch, Executive Chairman of the Board for MicroPhage. "Don seems to fit very well with the MicroPhage team and brings strong decision-making skills and vision to guide the company through these next critical months and years as we commercialize the business. We are very pleased that he has chosen to join the team."

MicroPhage, Inc. is working to be a global leader in developing rapid, easy-to-use diagnostic products for bacterial identification and antibiotic susceptibility/resistance testing. Using its proprietary Bacteriophage Amplification platform, the Company has developed patented processes that are a platform for rapid, easy-to-use, inexpensive diagnostic and screening tests. The technology platform resembles a home pregnancy test with twin, rapid detectors. The platform does not require any instrumentation and is simple to operate, enabling microbiology testing outside of traditional laboratory settings.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Neogen’s Rapid Test for Salmonella enteritidis Receives NPIP Approval

Neogen Corporation today announced that its rapid test for Salmonella enteritidis (SE) has received approval from the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP). Neogen’s newly NPIP approved test kit, Reveal® for Salmonella enteritidis, provides commercial egg producers with a quick and easy method of detecting the dangerous pathogen, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) implements SE-reduction regulations.

“NPIP’s approval further validates our test as an invaluable tool to egg producers, as they comply with the FDA’s new regulations, and seek to further reduce the likelihood of SE-contaminated eggs reaching consumers,” said Ed Bradley, Neogen’s vice president of Food Safety. “Until our introduction of an effective rapid test for SE, the industry had to wait up to 7 days for an outside laboratory’s test results. Reveal for SE provides the rapid, accurate answer needed to effectively manage flocks and egg production.”

Reveal for SE is the only rapid test available for SE that follows the FDA’s sample enrichment protocol and has received NPIP approval. “Using a rapid test for SE that uses the same sample enrichment protocol as the FDA not only allows analysts to quickly screen out negative test results, but also is compatible with the FDA confirmation process by using the same enriched samples,” said Bradley.

In November, Reveal for SE received AOAC International approval, validating the accuracy of the test system when testing either environmental or pooled table egg samples. In January, the FDA determined Reveal for SE to be equivalent to the FDA’s traditional testing method in accuracy, precision, and sensitivity for detecting SE.

The objective of the National Poultry Improvement Plan is to provide a cooperative industry-state-federal program through which new technology can be effectively applied to the improvement of poultry and poultry products throughout the country. NPIP provides certification that poultry are free from disease and pathogens, such as SE.

FDA's Method Equivalency Finding Triggers Life Technologies to Launch Market's First PCR Detection Kit for Salmonella Enteritidis in Poultry Eggs

A collaboration between Life Technologies Corporation and the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine has led to the launch of the first real-time PCR-based detection kit to test for Salmonella enteritidis (SE) in poultry eggs, providing an approximate 10-fold reduction in waiting time for accurate results.

The FDA has determined that the Applied Biosystems TaqMan® Salmonella enteritidis Detection Kit by Life Technologies is equivalent in accuracy, precision and sensitivity to its current standard methods described in the FDA's Bacteriological Analytical Manual (BAM, December 2007 Edition). The company's solution is a comprehensive protocol that uses real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) to quickly determine the presence or absence of SE in egg samples. Unlike the current traditional testing method, which can take up to 10 days to complete, Life Technologies' solution reaches accurate results in about 27 hours, making it the only tool of its kind on the market.

"The faster turnaround time to reach accurate results with this new molecular test not only enables egg producers to easily conform to the FDA's new stringent testing standards, but also helps limit the negative economic impact associated with SE outbreaks," said Gene Gregory, President and CEO of the United Egg Producers.

Two of the largest producers in the United States were forced to recall more than 550 million eggs after the August 2010 Salmonella outbreak that affected 26 states and resulted in a 40 percent price hike on the wholesale egg market, as reported by USA Today. The Federal Egg Safety Program, which went into effect July 2010, requires all large-scale egg producers in the U.S. -- roughly 80 percent of the egg production industry -- to test for SE to ensure the safety of products before they reach supermarket shelves. The new regulations created the need for a quicker, yet highly accurate, testing method.

In response to the new federal regulations, Life Technologies developed the test in collaboration with Dr. Shelley Rankin of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Life Technologies designed the assays and protocols, and Dr. Rankin's lab validated the protocol and performance.

"Penn Vet has been collaborating with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to ensure food safety for decades," said Dr. Joan C. Hendricks, the Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "The adoption of our egg-testing protocols by the FDA illustrates our researchers' success in their field and the importance that veterinary researchers play in ensuring public health and food safety. I am thrilled that Penn Vet is continuing to lead the way in setting the standard in food safety and public health."

"We are pleased to have received the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's acceptance of our TaqMan® Salmonella enteritidis Detection Kit, which now provides producers with a much faster and effective method for testing eggs," said Peter Dansky, President of Molecular & Cell Biology for Life Technologies. "This most recent development underscores Life Technologies' ability to quickly meet the ever-changing needs of animal and food safety markets, and its position as a leading provider of accurate and reliable molecular tests."