Illumina, bioMerieux unveil new NGS service

bioMérieux EpiSeq will enable epidemiological monitoring to help control hospital-associated infections

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SAN DIEGO & MARCY L'ETOILE, France--Illumina and bioMérieux, a leader in in-vitro diagnostics, have announced the launch of bioMérieux EpiSeq, a next-generation sequencing (NGS) service dedicated to the epidemiological monitoring and control of healthcare-associated infections. This is the first result of the companies' collaboration agreement, which was signed in November of last year, to combine their respective strengths to jointly develop applications for microbiology sequencing.
This new NGS service offers highly accurate information for the characterization of bacteria. Given the rising prevalence of and risk associated with hospital infections, particularly antibiotic-resistant bacteria, having a better grasp on genetic markers of virulence and resistance as well as bacterial transmission can help hospitals better track and prepare for outbreaks.
“We are proud to partner with bioMérieux to bring this first-of-its-kind offering to market,” said Jay Flatley, CEO of Illumina, in a press release. “NGS can be used to better characterize and understand infection-causing bacteria on a whole genome basis. With the growth of antibiotic resistant strains, this unique offering couldn’t be more timely or important to the future of public health.”
Hospitals facing a suspected epidemic or health crisis will be able to send bacterial isolates to a service laboratory designated by bioMérieux and equipped with an Illumina MiSeq sequencer. The genomic data is stored in a secure cloud platform and analyzed using the database and software developed by bioMérieux. Results showing the genomic profile of the infectious agents and the genetic variations identified by  sequencing will be sent by bioMérieux to healthcare professionals in a customized, easyto- interpret report.
The bioMérieux EpiSeq service will first be launched in Europe followed by North America and Asia. The menu will initially consist of Staphylococcus aureus and will subsequently be expanded to include the other bacterial species most commonly responsible for healthcare-associated infections.
“In line with our pioneering spirit, we are very pleased to be the first company to offer our customers an innovative sequencing solution in bacterial epidemiology. The bioMérieux EpiSeq service addresses major public health challenges, combatting infectious diseases and resistance to antibiotics,” said Jean-Luc Belingard, chairman of bioMérieux. “The launch of bioMérieux EpiSeq marks a new and productive step in our partnership with Illumina for the application of NGS to bacterial genomes. This new offer represents a valuable innovation and opens up new prospects that can bring this revolutionary technology to tomorrow’s healthcare.”
SOURCE: bioMérieux press release

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