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  • Innovation and Research & Development

    The Paper PAD for microbiological testing

    Currently available diagnostics are often not suitable for identifying many major infectious diseases in settings where low cost, easy-to-use, and field-rugged solutions are imperative. Such settings include emerging countries, non-traditional healthcare situations and remote medical treatment locations.

    Paper has recently become an attractive diagnostic test platform since it is an ubiquitous and inexpensive material. It is easy to store, easy to use, biodegradable and is compatible with many biochemical and biomedical applications. Paper can absorb and transport liquids simply by capillary force. Paper-based analytical devices are therefore promising and possibly game–changing, since they can be used outside the laboratory. With advances in production procedures and associated analytical techniques, it is anticipated that there will be a continuous increase in innovative paper-based diagnostic kits in the near future.

    The PAD is a new low-cost paper-based bacteriologic culture solution patented by bioMérieux that allows microbiological testing without requiring the skills of trained laboratory personnel.
    The PAD is comprised of a paper base, directly impregnated with the culture media which may also contain antibiotics.

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    PAD with growth of Vibrio cholerae colonies

    This innovative solution is designed to deliver basic information to the physician on bacterial density/quantity, identification and antibiotic susceptibility, all in a single visual step – easy to read with minimal training - when a bacterial infection (e.g. urinary tract infection, diarrhea...) is suspected.

    Paper-based devices may radically change the diagnosis and the prevention of many tropical infectious diseases in remote areas (e.g. by detecting urinary or enteric infections), by monitoring the microbiological quality of water, or by detecting the emergence of antibiotic resistance as well as guiding the most appropriate antibiotic therapy for the patient.

    A first field experiment using the PAD to detect Vibrio cholerae from water and stools was performed in Haiti in 2014, showing highly promising preliminary results.

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    Use of the PAD on samples taken from water in Haiti

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    Use of the PAD on samples taken from stool samples in Haiti