LEE’S SUMMIT, MO, Jun 09 (MARKET WIRE) —
Viracor-IBT Laboratories today announced the launch of the Aspergillus
PCR Panel, a collection of three new tests that will assist in detecting
and measuring Infiltrative Pulmonary Aspergillosis. The new testing
service offers 24-hour turnaround of results and unparalleled
sensitivity. It also expands Viracor-IBT’s comprehensive suite of fungal
testing services which includes Platelia(TM) Aspergillus Galactomannan
EIA and Fungitell(R) β-D Glucan.
Infiltrative Pulmonary Aspergillosis (IPA) is caused by Aspergillus, a
common fungus with more than 100 species. The infection occurs when
Aspergillus spores are inhaled and colonize in a person’s airways. The
disease primarily affects those with compromised immune systems,
including solid organ transplant, hematopoietic stem cell
transplantation, pelvic inflammatory disease and AIDS patients. It
typically progresses to pneumonia, but can also cause complications in
the central nervous system, kidneys, liver, and heart.
Fast diagnosis of IPA is critical. For patients who are diagnosed within
10 days of the onset of an infection, the disease is treatable and has a
mortality rate of 41 percent. For patients who are not diagnosed within
the first 10 days, the mortality rate climbs to 90 percent.
“Traditional diagnostic tools for IPA can be too slow or not sensitive
enough to help establish an accurate diagnosis,” said Steve Kleiboeker,
chief scientific officer for Viracor-IBT. “In many cases, doctors are
forced to treat patients based on incomplete information and can have to
administer toxic anti-fungal drug therapies as a preventative measure.
When used in conjunction with other diagnostic procedures, Viracor-IBT’s
Aspergillus PCR Panel can be useful in helping to diagnose IPA and
monitor patients with the infection. It has the potential to help improve
patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.”
Viracor-IBT’s Aspergillus PCR Panel includes three assays:
Pan-Aspergillus PCR, A. Fumigatus PCR and A. Terrus PCR. The
Pan-Aspergillus assay detects the presence of all Aspergillus species.
The A. Fumigatus and A. Terrus assays detect the species of Aspergillus
that cause most IPA infections. A. Fumigatus is the source of 50-80
percent of all IPA infections. A. Terrus causes 15 percent of infections.
A. Terrus is important to detect because the fungus is resistant to
Amphotericin B (AmB), a common anti-fungal drug therapy.
Viracor-IBT’s Aspergillus PCR Panel can be employed as a diagnostic aid
for IPA as well as used to monitor a patient’s response to therapy and
serve as a surveillance tool to determine illness before symptoms. The
extraction method used in the Aspergillus PCR Panel makes a distinction
between colonizing Aspergillus, which does not cause infection, and
invasive Aspergillus, which does. Past diagnostic options have not been
able to make this distinction, leading to some misdiagnosis and overuse
of anti-fungal therapies.
Viracor-IBT’s Aspergillus PCR Panel was created with seven years of
research and development. To verify the new panel of tests, Viracor-IBT
worked in partnership with collaborators including University of
Pittsburgh Medical Center, Duke University, University of Arkansas,
University of Texas Health Sciences, and the National Cancer Institute’s
Pediatric Oncology Group.
For more information about Viracor-IBT, the Aspergillus PCR Panel and
other tests available through the company, please visit
About Viracor-IBT Laboratories
ViraCor Laboratories and IBT Laboratories merged in June 2009 to form a
unique specialty diagnostics laboratory. The combined company specializes
in cellular, immunology, and allergy testing services as well as
molecular assays that detect and monitor microbial pathogens. The company
serves more than 4,000 physicians, hospitals, commercial laboratories and
biopharmaceutical companies nationwide. www.ViracorIBT.com
Amy D. Asper
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