Rapid meningitis tests provide fast answers in emergency situations
The Wellcogen range of rapid diagnostic tests, that are now available from Thermo Scientific, will detect the major causes of serious bacterial meningitis in body fluids, such as serum and Cerebro-Spinal Fluid (CSF), within half an hour.
Such speed is of great value in emergency situations given the high mortality rate of bacterial meningitis.
The severity of bacterial meningitis, and its ability to spread in certain situations, was recently highlighted in China where an outbreak of bacterial meningitis affected more than 250 people and resulted in at least 16 deaths throughout January 2005. Authorities there identified that prompt reporting of infection was among the important measures required to address this outbreak.
The simple Wellcogen latex agglutination tests can provide rapid, first-line confirmation of an acute infection of bacterial meningitis. Results are available in as little as 10 minutes for CSF (slightly longer for serum due to the time taken for the blood to clot) giving valuable guidance to doctors, pending the results of culture investigations, and allowing appropriate treatment to be initiated immediately.
These tests do not require the presence of viable organisms and can provide a positive result if there is a detectable level of antigen in the sample. The tests can be used to detect neonatal sepsis in addition to childhood and adult meningitis, identifying the main, potentially fatal bacterial strains: Streptococcal Group B (product code: 30858701), Haemophilus influenzae b (product code: 30858801), Streptococcus pneumoniae (product code: 30859001), Neisseria meningitidis WACY (R30859203) and Neisseria meningitidis B (product code: 30859502).
In addition to the separate kits available for each of these significant strains, a combined kit is available for the detection of all five major strains that cause meningitis (product code: 30859602). Each Wellcogen test kit contains sufficient materials for 30 tests, including control and test latex reagents, positive and negative controls, test cards, mixing sticks and pipettes.
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