US-based scientific instruments developer Bruker has unveiled new IR Biotyper system for microbial strain typing as well as routine hospital hygiene and infection control.

Based on fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy technology, IR Biotyper is designed to complement the company’s MALDI Biotyper mass spectrometry platform that uses protein fingerprinting for quick microbial identification.

The new device simultaneously uses different biomolecules such as lipids, proteins, nucleic acids, and polysaccharides to characterise a microbial sample via strain-specific absorbance patterns in the infrared spectrum.

The capacity of different biomolecules to contribute to the absorbance patterns is said to make the new tool fast and cost-effective for strain typing.

As a stand-alone device, the system can deliver results on several hygiene samples overnight, allowing hospital hygiene and infection control.

“As a stand-alone device, the system can deliver results on several hygiene samples overnight, allowing hospital hygiene and infection control.”

The system can also be used in combination with the MALDI Biotyper for parallel identification of microbial species.

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The rapid time-to-result (TTR), strain differentiation performance, low cost per sample and ease of use properties of the IR Biotyper system make it suitable for next-generation sequencing (NGS) strain-typing results that are said to need comparatively more time, training and infrastructure.

A new IR Biotyper Kit with test standards for quality control has been developed to support IR Biotyper’s workflow, which can measure around 30 individual samples per run.

At the same time, the firm also introduced a new software module for MALDI Biotyper-based subtyping.

Designed to identify Klebsiella pneumoniae strains with a plasmid that causes carbapenem resistance (KPC), the new software features an algorithm which automatically detects a specific protein peak encoded by the pKpQIL plasmid with the blaKPC gene.