Micro Imaging Technology announces breakthrough in pathogen testing

MIT 1000 system allows for speedy detection of pathogen species from liquid cultures

California, US-based company Micro Imaging Technology (MIT), through its collaboration with Northern Michigan University (NMU), has developed a testing protocol that allows for detection of pathogen species from liquid cultures.

Dr Josh Sharp, Assistant Professor at the NMU Department of Biology in Marquette, Michigan, US, has been spearheading the collaboration between the company and NMU since October 2013. He is researching clinical applications of the MIT 1000 system, particularly the pathogens Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) and Methicillin Resistant S. aureus (MRSA).

The MIT 1000 is a stand-alone, rapid, optically-based, software driven system that can identify pathogenic bacteria and complete an identification test, after culturing, in an average of three minutes. It does not rely on chemical or biological agents, conventional processing, fluorescent tags, gas chromatography or DNA analysis. The process requires only clean filtered water and a sample of the unknown bacteria.

'Many of the current agar plate-based identification methods require 16–24 hours of growth before identifications can be made,' said Dr Sharp. 'Our work with MIT and its rapid laser-based identification system, the MIT 1000, has effectively eliminated the need for that time-consuming step and reduced the time required for pathogen sample preparation and identification to 4–6 hours given a sufficient starting inoculum. This new protocol allows for detection of Staphylococcus species from liquid cultures and has provided important groundwork to facilitate rapid enrichment of target bacteria for identification using the MIT 1000.'

'The MIT 1000 has already proven to be one of, if not the fastest and least expensive method for pathogen testing out there,' added Jeff Nunez, President of MIT. 'This recent innovation in capturing target bacteria, eliminating the need for agar plate culturing, should prove to be a highly significant leap forward for the MIT 1000 in both clinical and food safety applications.'