The HAI BioDetection kit is currently available only forresearch use and is not intended for diagnostic purposes, though Pathogenicaand Targeted Genomics have agreed to develop the technology for a wider rangeof uses in Australia. No specific terms for the agreement were disclosed.
"The Pathogenica HAI solution allows healthcare and researchfacilities of all sizes to leverage sequencing technology for obtaining usefulfindings to track HAIs, control outbreaks and improve quality of care," BillMobbs, director of Targeted Genomics, said in a press release regarding theagreement.
The existing methods for pathogen identification can takedays or are limited to a few organisms. In contrast, Pathogenica's kit candetect 12 bacteria commonly associated with hospital-acquired infections and 18resistance gene families in a single assay, and screens up to 24 samplessimultaneously. It identifies which species are present in samples while alsoproviding sequence data, including strain identity and resistance genes, andhas a "sample to result" turnaround time of less than 12 hours. The HAIBioDetection Kit can identify bacterial pathogens responsible for more than 90percent of nosocomial infections, and the platform can also incorporate thedetection of emerging pathogenic fungi, viruses and resistances. In addition,the kit is also capable of detecting co-infections with a high degree ofreliability.
Hospital-acquired infections are a leading health problemglobally, resulting in longer stays following treatment, readmission to thehospital and even death. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that approximately one out of every 20 hospitalized patientswill contract a hospital-acquired infection. Some of the most prevalent andvirulent infections include MRSA, Staph infection and Clostridium difficile.
Approximately 1.7 million deaths were attributed to HAIs inU.S. hospitals in 2002, and the World Health Organization noted in a reportthat the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control estimatedapproximately 4.5 million hospital-acquired infections each year. A 2009 paper by R. Douglas Scott II, "The Direct Medical Costs of Healthcare-Associated Infections in U.S. Hospitals and the Benefits of Prevention,"estimates that, while applying two Consumer Price Index adjustments tocompensate for inflation on hospital prices, "the overall annual direct medicalcosts of HAI to U.S. hospitals ranges from $28.4 billion to $33.8 billion(after adjusting to 2007 dollars using the CPI for all urban customers) and$35.7 billion to $45 billion (after adjusting to 2007 dollars using the CPI forinpatient hospital services)."