Qiagen, a provider of sample and assay technologies for research in life sciences, applied testing, and molecular diagnostics, announced the launch of the first assays based on its breakthrough QIAplex PCR multiplex technology. QIAplex PCR allows highly sensitive detection of multiple molecular targets in one test. Samples that could contain multiple pathogens such as viruses and bacteria as well as other disease markers, previously had to be analyzed with assays that typically test for only one molecular target. QIAplex-based multiplexing has significant advantages compared with single-target assays, since one to up to 20 targets can be detected in only one test using the same sample. The newly developed and launched QIAplex panels, ResPlex I Panel, ResPlex II Panel and StaphPlex Panel, allow parallel detection of more than ten bacterial and viral targets in a single reaction. The panels are launched in Qiagen format as research use only products. ResPlex I and ResPlex II Panels detect respiratory bacterial and viral nucleic acids for research applications. The ResPlex I Panel enables the detection of most relevant respiratory bacterial DNA. This includes DNA specific for Legionella pneumophila, Chlamydia pneumoniae, or Mycoplasma pneumoniae, bacteria that cause atypical pneumonia. Furthermore, the ResPlex I Panel detects DNA specific for S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae and N. meningitidis. The ResPlex II Panel was developed for the detection of respiratory viral RNA from influenza and parainfluenza viruses, RSV, metapneumovirus, and rhinoviruses. The StaphPlex Panel allows identification of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) DNA for research applications. MRSA represents the most common nosocomial infection and describes bacterial strains resistant to antibiotics. In some hospitals, up to 30 percent of hospital-acquired infections are due to MRSA. The StaphPlex Panel also differentiates between two forms, the community-acquired CA-MRSA and hospital-acquired HA-MRSA. The now launched QIAplex products have been designed for use on Luminex detection platforms and are optimized for use with QIAGEN's LiquiChip 200 Workstation.