US-based health care firm Abbott has introduced its new infectious disease testing platform, Iridica, in Europe and other CE Mark recognised countries.
The new platform is claimed to identify more than 1,000 infection-causing pathogens, such as bacteria, viruses or fungi, in less than six hours.
Combining polymerase chain reaction / electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (PCR / ESI-MS), Iridica can quickly identifying infection-causing pathogens directly from a patient's sample, eliminating the need for culture.
The company's RApid Diagnosis of Infections in the CriticAlly IlL (RADICAL) study showed Iridica was able to detect pathogens when the current standard of care did not.
Abbott Ibis Biosciences business R&D divisional vice-president Dr David J Ecker said: "Currently, when a person enters a hospital with a suspected infection, it may take several days before the source can be accurately identified, which can delay appropriate treatment.
"Iridica can offer a better and faster way to detect and identify pathogens that cause serious infections and aid physicians in diagnosing and managing the critically ill."
The study also showed that Abbott's technology can help reduce health care costs by 30%, as well as the hospital stay for people with serious infections by up to eight days.
Universite Libre de Bruxelles Intensive Care professor Dr Jean-Louis Vincent said: "Slower diagnostic methods, like cultures, have led to the overuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics and antimicrobials, and an emergence of new resistant superbugs.
"By identifying pathogens faster with Iridica, a doctor can quickly prescribe the most effective therapy, potentially limiting the indiscriminate use of broad-spectrum antibiotics."
The new platform currently offers five testing panels for pathogens that cause infections in the critically ill such as sepsis, other bacterial, fungal and viral infections and ventilator-associated pneumonia.
Image: Abbott's Iridica can offer a better and faster way to detect and identify pathogens that cause serious infections and help doctors in diagnosing and managing the critically ill. Photo: courtesy of Abbott.