Abbott has introduced the PLEX-ID Biothreat Assay, which is designed to detect and distinguish 17 different biothreat pathogens. This assay enables rapid and accurate detection of potentially dangerous microorganisms that could pose serious threats to human health, food, water and other resources.
“While public health officials concerned with bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases are detecting known, conventional infectious agents, it’s becoming very clear there is a need for broader detection and characterization of pathogens for biodefense,” said David Ecker, Ph.D., divisional vice president and general manager, of Abbott’s Ibis Biosciences subsidiary. “The PLEX-ID system’s new biothreat assay will serve that need by identifying and quantifying, for non-diagnostic purposes, a broad set of pathogens including bacteria and families of viruses in humans and animals.”
The PLEX-ID Biothreat Assay permits analysis of direct specimens, such as blood, water, food and air filter samples, and provides results in less than eight hours. Seventeen different bioagents are targeted in the new test, including Bacillus anthracis, E. coli, salmonella, ebola virus, and avian influenza viruses. PLEX-ID offers the unique capability to detect and identify these, and other, bacterial and viral biothreat agents while also differentiating similar organisms.
Research on the biothreat assay was presented at the American Society for Microbiology Conference on Biodefense and Emerging Diseases. In a poster presented at the conference, Abbott and the Midwest Research Institute reported that an independent evaluation of the PLEX-ID Biothreat Assay showed it provides highly sensitive and specific results for biothreat detection in environmental air sample analysis.
The PLEX-ID system can perform identification and typing of expected and unknown microorganisms from direct specimens, which saves time while providing critical information without the need to grow the agent in culture first.