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Use of the TIGER Biosensor System for Identification and Strain-Typing

A study -"Rapid Identification and Strain-Typing of Respiratory Pathogens for Epidemic Surveillance" has recently been published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Authored by scientists from the Ibis division of Isis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and others collaborators it relates the use of the TIGER biosensor system to rapidly identify the infectious agents responsible for a severe outbreak of respiratory disease.

The publication describes results obtained from analysis of throat swabs taken during an outbreak of severe respiratory disease at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) in San Diego. Using the TIGER biosensor system, the bacteria responsible for the infection were identified and the potential spread of the epidemic monitored. The scientists were able to analyze patient samples in two ways, neither of which were previously possible.

First, in a broad survey, all bacteria present at significant levels in clinical samples were identified. The outbreak was determined to be primarily due to a particularly virulent strain of Streptococcus pyogenes. Other potentially pathogenic organisms were also identified in many of the affected patients, suggesting that infection with several organisms might affect morbidity. Second, the Streptococcal strain type associated with the pneumonia was determined; previously identified as especially virulent. In addition to the San Diego facility, patient samples from other military facilities were also tested and a distinctly different pattern of organisms was identified, confirming that the San Diego recruits were not spreading the disease to other facilities.

CMDR Kevin Russell, M.D., a co-author of the publication from the Naval Health Research Center said, "Despite having a well-equipped laboratory at my disposal, techniques currently available would simply not allow monitoring of an evolving outbreak in a timeframe necessary for intervention. The TIGER biosensor system did just that. More importantly, it did so in a highly accurate manner. The Public Health ramifications are staggering and limitless."

The TIGER biosensor system is able to provide rapid identification and quantitation of any infectious organism without knowing which organism you are looking for, and without culturing. It can also determine the particular strain of the infectious agent. This crucial information can be used to monitor the spread of an epidemic in real-time thus, facilitating rapid intervention that can help to contain the outbreak.

The TIGER biosensor system can identify known, previously unknown, and bioengineered infectious agents for use in biowarfare defense; identify and track disease patterns for use in epidemiological surveillance; and aid in solving crimes involving infectious agents for use in microbial forensics. It also has the potential to be used in pharmaceutical process control, hospital-associated infection control and infectious disease diagnostics.


NOTE: This item is from our 'historic' database and may contain information which is not up to date.

Source: Ibis Technologies View archived contact details

Posted: May 30, 2005
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