The field of diagnostics has changed considerably over the last few decades, with the emergence of new technologies to support, supplement and occasionally replace traditional microbiology testing. Such technologies are giving healthcare providers access to more timely, informative and accurate results, thereby helping to improve disease management and patient outcomes.
bioMérieux’s experience and expertise as a recognized leader in the domain of microbiology places the Company at the forefront of innovation in this field. Specifically in the fight against antibiotic resistance, our Research and Development (R&D) teams are strongly focused on developing more rapid, accurate and informative tests with high medical value which meet the needs of healthcare professionals and improve patient management.
R&D projects focus on enhancing current bioMérieux platforms and tests, as well as developing innovative approaches that span the entire diagnostic spectrum from the most highly advanced technologies to low-cost easily accessible tests for use in low-resource developing nations.
The revolution of genotyping platforms
The epidemiological monitoring of bacterial, viral, parasitic and fungal infections is being transformed by next-generation genotyping platforms which produce detailed knowledge of nucleic acid (DNA, RNA) sequences, thereby allowing highly accurate profiling of strains. This technology enables public health and hospital microbiology laboratories to potentially identify the cause of an infection, and to track, prevent and contain the spread of the disease agent. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) and whole-genome sequencing (WGS) have become powerful tools in the fight against infectious diseases.
The bioMérieux EpiSeq™* service is a NGS-based genomic epidemiology tool developed for hospital epidemiologists and microbiologists to manage healthcare-associated infection (HAI) related outbreaks and also for epidemiological research.
The service provides typing and comparative analysis of bacterial isolates for outbreak detection and epidemiological surveillance. It is fully integrated, allowing users to conduct NGS-based epidemiological analysis of bacterial strains based on their comparison with previous and concurrent strains as well as reference strains.
Powered by Illumina, the NGS-based bioMérieux EpiSeqTM service provides nucleic acid sequencing as a high-resolution, reproducible method of bacterial typing. The sequencing is performed by laboratories that are qualified in Illumina’s MiSeq Next Generation Sequencing technology and trained to use the bioMérieux EpiSeq™ software for processing service requests and analyzing raw sequencing data. This service will provide a customized report for the user, presenting precise results in an easily understandable graphical format, and identifying the infectious agent, as well as the sequence-based genetic variations that will assist in understanding its transmission.
Initially focused on Staphylococcus aureus at the time of launch in 2015, the bioMérieux EpiSeq™ service menu will be rapidly expanded to other species commonly linked to HAIs.
Next Generation Sequencing is poised to become a central tool in the fight against resistance by:
- accurately tracking and controlling pathogen transmission pathways;
- establishing pathogen sequencing as a single data source for microbial identification and predicting antimicrobial resistance;
- helping to diagnose occult infections from non-cultivable organisms, thereby promoting targeted antimicrobial use and reducing the prescription of broad-spectrum antibiotics;
- characterizing the human “microbiome” in order to investigate its precise roles in human health and disease.
* Not for diagnostic use