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Specific Technologies Announces Faster Detection and ID of Yeast in Blood Culture

Specific Technologies, which has developed SpecID™, an innovative paradigm for detection and identification of pathogenic microorganisms based on their volatile metabolic signatures, announces today the publication of a study in PLOS ONE detailing the demonstration of the SpecID™ system to detect and identify pathogenic yeasts in simulated blood culture.

In the study, Cleveland Clinic researchers identified 7 species of pathogenic yeasts in blood culture with 95% accuracy, faster than current methodologies that can only detect the presence of infection. These key findings further demonstrate the SpecID™ system's unique capabilities to provide a faster identification of the cause of sepsis. Sepsis is the most expensive condition and leading cause of deaths in U.S. hospitals, costing more than $20 billion annually.  Sepsis occurs in about 10% of U.S. hospital patients, but contributes to up to 50% of all hospital deaths. Early diagnosis of sepsis is critical to improving patient survival rate, which decreases every hour without effective antibiotic treatment.

The authors of the study compared Specific's colorimetric sensory array (CSA) technology to the industry standard, bioMérieux's BacT/ALERT® system, and reported that SpecID™ accurately detected the presence of yeasts 6.8 hours (17%) faster than BacT/ALERT® on average. Further, the metabolomic "fingerprint" obtained by the sensor enabled discrimination of distinct species with 95% accuracy.  The SpecID™ system thus combines earlier detection with the identification (ID) of species into a single, fully automated step.  This contrasts with conventional culture systems that require a separate Gram stain, growth of colonies and then ID. SpecID™ thus saves time, labor, reduces handling-related contamination and above all, speeds the availability of actionable information about deadly yeast-based blood infections to the hospital staff.

"This announcement continues to establish SpecID™ as the only technology to combine detection with ID during primary blood culture. By extending this paradigm, which we have reported for bacterial and mycobacterial infection, now to the clinically important case of yeast infection, we demonstrate a general and novel paradigm for microbiology diagnostics that promises to streamline the lab, by combining the detection, Gram status and ID of pathogens as they grow in blood culture," said Paul A. Rhodes, Ph.D., CEO of Specific.

"Improving microbiology diagnostics to better detect and characterize the causes of fungemia is important to guide antifungal therapy," said Gary W. Procop, M.D., Medical Director of Enterprise Laboratory Stewardship Committee, and Molecular Microbiology, Virology, Mycology & Parasitology Laboratories at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.  "We look forward to evaluating new systems for not only blood culture but rapid antibiotic susceptibility testing as well in the coming months."

To view the manuscript, "The Combined Rapid Detection and Species-Level Identification of Yeasts in Simulated Blood Culture Using a Colorimetric Sensor Array," published in PLOS ONE, please visit the following link:

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