The LC-MS/MS-based assay MassTox drugs of abuse testing offers the target screening and quantitative confirmation of more than 100 drugs and metabolites with an analysis time of up to 12 minutes. The CE-IVD validated solution includes everything that is required for the analysis, eliminating the need for developing and maintaining several in-house methods or for preparing QC materials for a multitude of analyte compounds. It is designed to work below cut-offs defined by GTFCh and EWDTS. The assay includes a carefully selected hydrolysis enzyme that ensures a complete and selective hydrolysis of all 108 drugs covered in the assay. 99 analytes are safeguarded by isotopically labelled internal standards. The high stability of the 6PLUS1 Multilevel Urine Calibrator Set and three MassCheck urine controls ensure reliable results with highest precision.
Siemens Healthineers has a released an informative eBook titled “Coagulation abnormalities in COVID-19 patients – current testing and treatment protocols” to provide quick access to coagulation testing and treatment recommendations.
The eBook can be downloaded for free from their website: https://bit.ly/2CcpB5I
Because coagulation tests are important in the management of COVID-19 patients, the company has compiled an eBook for quick access to:
- Thrombosis risk factors
- An ISTH-recommended coagulation testing algorithm
- Leading recommendations for anticoagulation treatment
- Relevant parameters for patient monitoring
The eBook provides an overview of COVID-19 and thrombosis; it looks at laboratory testing in the identification of coagulation abnormalities in COVID-19 patients; and provides information on the treatment of coagulation abnormalities in COVID-19 patients.
Authors of the eBook write that while it’s not unusual for infections to raise the risk of clotting, the COVID-19 virus is associated with an unprecedented range of clotting-related disorders in affected patients. “From benign skin lesions on the feet to life-threatening thrombotic events, the COVID-19 virus has demonstrated a strikingly high prevalence of deadly blood clots. Studies show that about 25% and even up to 70% of critically ill patients have confirmed venous thromboembolism or pulmonary embolism. Another study found that approximately 70% of COVID-19 patients who died had disseminated intravascular coagulation.”
They add that Siemens Healthineers’s coagulation tests play an important role in the diagnosis, treatment, and management of coagulation abnormalities in COVID-19 patients and point out that the company has changed their production model to produce these assays at a higher volume than ever before.
“We are proud to support you in the fight against COVID-19. Behind every healthcare professional there are 53,000 Healthineers,” Siemens Healthineers says.
Cardiovascular disease caused by atherosclerosis is the leading cause of morbidity in Western Countries . It involves the hardening and narrowing of vessels in the systemic system. The process originates from the build-up of fatty deposits through a process known as atherogenesis. If the build-up increases, plaque rupturing may occur leading to myocardial infarction .
The mission of The National Lipid Association (NLA) is “to enhance the practice of lipid management in clinical medicine.” NLA advocates advancing the current lipid testing profile as the traditional panel consists of testing LDL cholesterol (LDL-C), HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) and triglycerides, which only detects approximately 20 % of all atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease patients. Advanced lipid testing is recommended to optimize patient treatment .
Offering a total solution for lipid and cardiac risk testing, Randox has developed novel and superior performance markers to identify the true weight of lipid profiling. Its range of niche and superior performance assays comprises 13 assays including: small dense LDL-C (sdLDL-C), Lipoprotein (a) (Lp(a)) and HDL3-C.
sdLDL-C will more readily permeate the inner arterial wall having a lower affinity to the hepatic LDL-C receptor which circulates in the blood longer and more susceptible to oxidation.
As sdLDL-C is particularly atherogenic, a person with elevated sdLDL-C levels has a 3-fold increased risk of myocardial infarction .
Elevated Lp(a) levels are associated robustly and specifically with increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. The unique Randox Lp(a) assay is one of the only methodologies on the market that detect the non-variable part of the Lp(a) molecule which suffers minimal size related bias.
HDL3-C is the scavenger of cholesterol within arterial walls and if HDL3-C levels are significantly depleted, the ability to remove this cholesterol is reduced. Therefore, it is widely accepted that there is an inverse correlation between HDL3-C and CVD risk.
It is necessary to review the traditional lipid testing panel, enabling clinicians to gain a more comprehensive view of a patient’s CVD risk and therefore take the appropriate
measures to prevent CVD related deaths.
1. Burnett JR. Lipids, lipoproteins, atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Clin Biochem Rev 2004; 25(1): 2 [cited: 3 December 2018]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1853363/.
2. Zimmermaann KA. Circulatory system: facts, function & diseases. Live Science [Online] 16 March 2018 [cited: 3 December 2018]. https://www.livescience.com/22486-circulatory-system.html.
3. National Lipid Association. National Lipid Association releases updated recommendations on the use of PCSK9 inhibitors at the 15th Annual Scientific Session. [Online] no date [cited: 3 December 2018]. https://www.lipid.org/nla/national-lipid-association-releases-updated-recommendations-use-pcsk9-inhibitors-15th-annual.
4. Austin MA, Breslow JL, Hennekens CH, Buring JE, Willett WC, Krauss RM. LDL subclass patterns and risk of MI. JAMA 1988; 260(13): 1917–1921.
Beckman Coulter announced early May that the latest addition to its automation portfolio, the DxA 5000 total laboratory automation solution, has achieved European CE Mark and China Food and Drug Administration approval. In today’s healthcare environment, laboratories are highly focused on enhancing patient care by driving faster turnaround time, delivering quality results and improving laboratory operations. The DxA 5000 helps laboratories meet these challenges through a collection of patented innovations that deliver rapid and consistent turnaround time, provide a new level of comprehensive pre-analytical sample quality detection, and reduce the number of manual processing steps to significantly improve laboratory efficiency.
Reporting results faster to physicians can positively impact patient outcomes. In the laboratory, specimen centrifugation is typically the most time-consuming pre-analytical activity. The DxA 5000 sets a new standard by utilizing a universal centrifugation protocol that significantly reduces the pre-analytical processing time by up to 73% for connected analysers across multiple disciplines.
Additionally, the DxA 5000 supports laboratories in delivering highly consistent turnaround time to their physicians. Leveraging first-of-its-kind dynamic system software, the DxA 5000 utilizes Intelligent Routing to bring automated patient-centric workflow to the laboratory. By understanding the tests requested, sample volume available and real-time analyser capacity and status, the DxA 5000 continuously calculates the most expeditious route for every patient sample – both STAT and routine.
Research shows errors that occur in the pre-analytical phase of testing may contribute up to 75% of erroneous test results, with 26% possibly having adverse effects on patient care. Moreover, a vast majority of the factors causing erroneous results occur outside the laboratory, including inadequate volume, mislabeled samples and incorrect tube type. The DxA 5000 is designed with a sharp focus on sample quality assessment, screening each sample at multiple points to help laboratories substantially reduce the risk of errors. In three seconds, the system detects patient tube parameters such as volume, sample identification, tube type, cap colour, orders pending and tube weight. The system is also designed to check for sample volume at three separate points: pre-centrifugation, post-centrifugation and prior to sample storage to continually ensure sufficient volume is available for the tests ordered. Together, these quality assessments reduce the potential for release of erroneous results and can help accelerate time to result by quickly alerting the laboratory when a new patient sample is needed.
In addition to improving sample quality, laboratories also require workflow solutions that help them manage high volumes of outpatient, outreach and network samples, while processing urgent requests for both patient wards and emergency departments. The DxA 5000 simultaneously manages high volumes of multiple discipline requests, with a large variety of patient sample tubes and sizes, without impact to overall system throughput or STAT turnaround time. By automating sample processing steps, the DxA 5000 supports laboratories in delivering a higher number of results per hour with the same staffing level.
Based on research and work performed with the company’s laboratory partners, sample processing steps are shown to make up approximately 70% of a laboratory’s labour hours. The DxA 5000 significantly reduces the number of manual steps in sample processing to as few as one. From sample accessioning and quality assessment to add-on test management and sample disposal, the DxA 5000 enables laboratory professionals to deliver high-quality results and improve efficiency, empowering them to focus their efforts and skills on managing patient sample exceptions.
The first in a suite of DxA systems currently in development, the DxA 5000 enhances Beckman Coulter’s comprehensive portfolio of scalable solutions and is a key component of its vision to bring workflow automation to laboratories of all sizes.
Beckman Coulter has received purchase orders for more than 20 DxA 5000 systems across multiple countries where regulatory clearance has been achieved.
Dutch company CytoSMART Technologies is to donate 100 mini live-cell imaging systems to researchers in high containment labs worldwide. Labs working to combat Covid-19 will benefit from this initiative, as CytoSMART aims to reduce the huge workload currently facing researchers on projects vital to controlling the disease.
CytoSMART’s unique and compact live-cell microscope films living cell cultures without disturbing their growth or behaviour. The device operates from inside cell culture incubators and is accessible from an online environment. This enables researchers to analyse their cell cultures remotely and assess e.g. the cytopathic effect, which is caused by virus replication. Using the CytoSMART Lux2, researchers will know when to take action for the next step and harvest the virus.
“We aim to do our part to assist researchers in minimizing the time they have to spend in highcontamination labs, by providing them with remote video access to evaluate the status of their cell cultures. The video data is used to remotely monitor the cytopathic effect, this way researchers know when it’s the right time to harvest the virus.” – Joffry Maltha, CEO at CytoSMART Technologies.
According to guidelines by the CDC and the WHO, isolation and characterization of Covid-19 should be performed in BSL-3 laboratories. Performing research in Biosafety Level 3 and 4 laboratories (BSL-3 or BSL-4) means working in a highly controlled area. Many precautionary measures must be taken to ensure the safety of researchers and help prevent the diseases they are working with from spreading outside the lab. Removing and replacing the protective clothing and apparatus can be time consuming and expensive, so entering the lab should ideally only occur when absolutely necessary.
Maltha commented: “We need to help scientists who are working in BSL-3 and BSL-4 laboratories to combat Covid-19. We know that our system can help researchers in monitoring cell growth and deciding when they need to go to the high containment labs and run further experiments.
The EurobioPlex HSV-1, HSV-2 and VZV kit, which obtained the CE mark, is a real-time amplification test of viral DNA of each of these viruses, with specific detection, as well as a DNA extraction and PCR inhibition control. This ready to use test is performed from extracted DNA, or directly on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) without extraction using a reaction in a single well/tube. The test is indicated to detect and specifically differentiate the DNA of these viruses, and thus to diagnose the occurrence of infection by these viruses in humans, or to supplement a proven or undetermined diagnosis. Time from sample to result is short: less than 35 min. on standard PCR instruments such as CFX96 (Bio-Rad) or LC480 (Roche), and 1h on the 8-well, single-patient testing TCOR8-IVD instrument (Tetracore), networkable (WiFi/Ethernet) for remote access and data download. The Eurobio-Plex HSV1-HSV2-VZV has been validated on the following specimens: plasma, blood, amniotic fluid, various biological samples with cellular components (skin, eye, pharynx, tongue, colon, penis, foreskin, anogenital and vaginal areas, naso-pharyngeal aspirations), and directly on CSF.
Human herpesviruses are enveloped linear double-stranded DNA viruses belonging to the family Herpesviridae. Their DNA replication and transcription of their genes occur in the nucleus of infected cells. They are subdivided into three groups: alpha-, beta – and gamma herpesviridae. Primary infection with herpes virus is common and most infections occur during childhood. Many Infections with varying degrees can occur at any age, resulting in various diseases: skin lesion (herpes eczema), encephalitis, neonatal herpes and disseminated herpes. A special case is that of VZV, responsible for chickenpox, characterized by moderate fever and a vesicular eruption. Generally benign for children, there is a risk of severe complications when it is contracted by adults, immunosuppressed people and pregnant women. The reactivation of the virus in the body leads to the appearance of zona. Fast direct detection from CSF with EurobioPlex HSV1-HSV2-VZV constitutes a powerful tool for the diagnosis of meningitis.
An increase in antimicrobial resistance is one of the most urgent global challenges facing the field of healthcare. Carbapenem-resistant bacteria are an emerging cause of healthcare associated infection and are particularly concerning due to the high level of antimicrobial resistance coupled with the ability for widespread transmission. Accordingly it is important to detect carriers quickly to prevent and control spread and also to aid antimicrobial stewardship. Mast Group Ltd. has developed a colorimetric test which rapidly detects carbapenemase producing Pseudomonas spp., Acinetobacter spp. and Enterobacterales using a novel chromogenic cephalosporin analogue. The test provides rapid results in less than 10 minutes using a simple test process in 5 easy steps while featuring high sensitivity and specificity. MAST CARBA PAcE is a simple, cost effective solution providing fast results within 10 minutes, conveniently containing 48 tests per kit making it suitable for screening purposes, and supporting effective infection prevention and control. With no special equipment required the test can be easily adaptable to any microbiology laboratory.