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PositiveID’s ExcitePCR FireflyDX Prototype Successfully Detects E. Coli in Less Than 30 Minutes

PositiveID Corporation announced today that the FireflyDX breadboard prototype pathogen detection system can accurately detect the E. coli bacterium in less than 30 minutes. Further, the Company commented on the importance of its rapid, portable pathogen detection products, currently under development, to prevent increasingly frequent foodborne disease outbreaks.

In scenarios where containment is key to preventing widespread accidental or bioterror-driven health disasters, immediate action can mean the difference between single digit and hundreds of cases, as seen in recent instances.

FireflyDX is designed to detect E. coli and other pathogens at the point of need, eliminating the delays that result from having to transport samples for off-site lab testing to receive potentially life-saving results.

The recent multi-state outbreak is the worst outbreak of E. coli since 2006 when illnesses traced to spinach killed three people and sickened more than 270, creating millions of dollars in legal liability.

The ability to rapidly and accurately diagnose pathogenic E. coli at the point of need gives health care providers information required for correct treatment protocols and for public information campaigns.

Further, millions of dollars in legal awards are paid annually due to foodborne illness. Through implementation of on-site detection at local food processing facilities, legal liability for outbreaks can be significantly minimized. PositiveID believes that completion and commercialization of FireflyDX could be a solution that enables such prevention.

FireflyDX Evidence

The graph below shows FireflyDX successful detection of E. coli using its own assay:

“FireflyDX is being developed to prevent and more effectively respond to disease outbreaks and minimize the spread of infection,” commented Lyle L. Probst, ExcitePCR President and CEO. “Use of FireflyDX at the farm, food processing facility, or the restaurant level, can equip health care professionals with an unprecedented level of information to stop such food safety issues before they become a public health concern.”

E. coli is a bacterium commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded animals.  Most E. coli strains are harmless, but some kinds, like E. coli O157:H7, can cause serious disease in humans including bloody diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. Food contamination can occur when food products come into contact with fecal material in soil, water, or contaminated surfaces.  This contamination can cause food poisoning in humans and result in serious illness and costly product recalls.

PositiveID expects that FireflyDX vertical markets will include human clinical, such as infectious disease, and hospital acquired infections, global food and agricultural, and biothreat defense.

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