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New Assay Could Revolutionize Diagnosis and Treatment of Life-Threatening Fungal Disease

Invasive Fungal Disease (IFD) is an emerging global health problem associated with high mortality rates in severely immunocompromised patients, such as those undergoing intensive chemotherapy or stem cell transplantation, and in patients suffering immune compromising conditions such as AIDS. The most common causative agents of this disease have been identified as Candida and Aspergillus species, between them accounting for nearly 90% of all reported IFD.

These infections are difficult and time-consuming to diagnose, so at-risk patients are often administered a course of expensive and potentially toxic prophylactic anti-fungal drugs.

But the launch of a new, rapid PCR-based test for the detection of Candida and Aspergillus DNA extracted from blood samples, could make diagnosis quicker and more accurate, reducing the need for anti-fungal therapy for most patients.

Renishaw Diagnostics’ first assay, Fungiplex, is a CE-IVD certified test designed for use on the RenDx Multiplex Assay System, an automation and detection platform that allows processing of up to 45 samples in a single run. The assay identifies 12 Candida and Aspergillus species using a unique detection technology known as surface enhanced resonance Raman spectroscopy (SERRS).

Rupert Jones, General Manager of Renishaw Diagnostics, said, “The CE-IVD launch of our RenDx platform and first assay marks a significant milestone, not just in the progress made here at Renishaw Diagnostics but more importantly, for infectious disease diagnostics throughout Europe. The extensive target menu for the Fungiplex assay, together with the high sensitivity that can be achieved through our exceptional detection technology, has the potential to aid earlier diagnosis, reduce overall spend and improve patient outcomes for those susceptible to these life threatening infections. We are looking forward to working with clinicians and laboratories to bring this assay into routine clinical use.”

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