Solutions for microbial strain typing, hospital hygiene and infection control

At the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Microbe 2018 meeting, Bruker announced its new testing solutions

The IR Biotyper system

Bruker, the provider of high-performance scientific instruments and high-value analytical and diagnostic solutions announced its improved solutions for microbial strain typing, hospital hygiene and infection control at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Microbe 2018 meeting, which took place last week.

The bench-top IR Biotyper system for microbial strain typing is based on Fourier-Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy technology and complements Bruker's MALDI Biotyper mass spectrometry platform for fast microbial identification from cultures using protein fingerprinting.

The IR Biotyper uses many classes of biomolecules, like lipids, proteins, nucleic acids and polysaccharides simultaneously to characterise a microbial sample by strain-specific absorbance patterns in the infrared spectrum. This makes the IR Biotyper an efficient tool for fast and cost-effective strain typing.

The IR Biotyper can be used stand-alone for routine hospital hygiene and infection control, or can be combined in a workflow with parallel microbial species identification by the MALDI Biotyper.

Due to its fast time-to-result (TTR), excellent strain differentiation performance, low cost per sample, ease of use, robustness and throughput, the IR Biotyper can perfectly complement next-generation sequencing (NGS) strain typing, which typically requires more time, training and infrastructure in core labs.

With its easy, user-friendly workflow, fast turn-around time and cost-effective sample preparation, the IR Biotyper enables new in-house workflows in hospital infection control. More samples can be analysed prospectively in less time and at a lower cost compared to molecular technologies in hygiene laboratories. Results are generated directly after the measurements.

This also improves sample logistics as many samples that previously had to be sent to central core molecular testing facilities can now be analysed directly in the hospital hygiene laboratory. The IR Biotyper is for research-use-only and not for diagnostic use.

Bruker recently received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the identification of Candida auris on the MALDI Biotyper CA system. C. auris is a yeast species that increasingly causes fungal infections in critically ill hospital patients.

It can cause blood stream infections, urinary tract infections and wound infections. Treatment can be complicated because it can easily be misidentified as other Candida species by traditional methods. C. auris is frequently multidrug-resistant and has caused several outbreaks in healthcare settings.

The Bruker MALDI Biotyper (MBT) Platform

The MALDI Biotyper family of systems enables molecular identification of microorganisms like bacteria, yeasts and fungi. Classification and identification of microorganisms is achieved reliably and quickly using proteomic fingerprinting by high-throughput MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. The MALDI Biotyper uses a molecular approach based on specific proteomic fingerprints.

In many laboratories the MALDI Biotyper has replaced classical biochemical testing for bacterial identification due to the accuracy, speed, extensive species coverage, ease of use and cost effectiveness of the system. Traditional biochemical techniques detect different metabolic properties of microorganisms, can take many hours or even days for completion, and they often lack specificity.

The Bruker IR Biotyper Platform

The IR Biotyper is a benchtop FTIR spectroscopy system for hospital hygiene and infection control applications. It uses the absorption of infrared light by biomolecules, as infrared light induces vibrations and rotations of covalent bonds in biomolecules. After an identification of the microbial species with the MALDI Biotyper, the IR Biotyper allows for rapid, cost-effective typing of strains.

Applications include the analysis of outbreak scenarios in hospital hygiene and epidemiology, as well as root cause analysis in microbial food contamination. The IR Biotyper offers low consumables cost, and requires minimal sample preparation. Starting from an isolated culture on an agar plate, a cell suspension is prepared and an aliquot is deposited on the sample plate and air dried.

The measurement itself takes a few minutes. After microbial cultivation, the IR Biotyper allows for quick onsite analysis in the hygiene monitoring laboratory, which compares very favourably with the cost and turn-around time to send samples for molecular testing. The IR Biotyper is for research-use-only (RUO) in hygiene, infection control and epidemiology.

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