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11th October 2021  Product update: rapidmicrobiology staff writer

MIC Results in 6 Hours with New Rapid AST System

Thermo Fisher Scientific and Q-linea has announced the launch of the ASTar System – a rapid antimicrobial susceptibility testing (rAST) system that provides true minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) results in ≈ 6 hours. Conventional AST methods can take up to 72 hours to yield a result.

The fully automated, easy-to-use ASTar System utilizes advanced imaging techniques and algorithms to monitor bacterial growth, removing the need for subculture, which alone can take an additional one to two days.

The system is based on the ISO 20776-1 AST frozen broth microdilution methods, and as such it produces the all-important MIC results physicians can use to deliver more personalized antibiotic treatment to the critically ill.

The reduction in time-to-result may be a factor in reducing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) as clinicians often prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics while awaiting laboratory guidance on more targeted therapy.

This practice is believed to contribute to the emerging pandemic of AMR1, which threatens to claim 10 million lives a year by 20502. Reducing AMR could be expected to reduce mortality rates by around 40%3, and could also support a decrease in healthcare costs by reducing hospital stay and delivering per-patient cost savings of between $2,500 and $20,000.

Romain Lecomte, senior director, clinical product marketing, Thermo Fisher Scientific microbiology, said: "When we say rapid, we mean it. With approximately six hours to result, the ASTar System can process up to 12 samples in parallel for the patients who need it most. Equipped with a panel design containing the broadest combination of antimicrobials and dilution ranges in a single test for Gram-negative bacteria*, laboratories can deliver truly targeted therapy, with only two minutes of hands-on time."

Jonas Jarvius, CEO of Q-linea said: "We believe the ASTar System represents a turning point in the pursuit for more accurate, reliable and rapid AST. It uses gold standard-equivalent techniques to deliver actionable results in approximately six hours and provides physicians with the true MIC information they can use to guide personalized treatment options."

The ASTar System, developed by Q-linea and distributed by Thermo Fisher:

  • Delivers fast, accurate results in ≈ 6 hours direct from positive blood cultures
  • Fully automated load-and-go system that requires just two minutes of hands-on time per sample
  • Comprehensive AST panel with a format design containing 23 antimicrobials, covering 235 dilutions

The ASTar System is now commercially available from Thermo Fisher Scientific in Europe, with plans for launch in other regions to follow pending relevant regulatory approvals. For more information, visit to learn more or ask for more details using the button provided below. 

1. The Antimicrobial Resistance Crisis: Causes, Consequences, and Management  Frontiers in public health Published online 2014 Sep 16. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2014.00145

2.No Time to Wait: Securing the Future From Drug-Resistant Infections. Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance, World Health Organization. 

3.Cost Analysis of Implementing Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight Mass Spectrophotometry Plus Real-Time Antimicrobial Stewardship Intervention for Bloodstream Infections. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, published 28 December 2016. 

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Date Published: 11th October 2021

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Note: This content has been edited by a rapidmicrobiology staff writer for style and content.

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