The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), is a non-profit genomics research institute established in 2002 by Jeffrey Trent, the founding Scientific Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), in Phoenix, Arizona, United States along with Northern Arizona University (NAU) developed a technology to identify an Antibiotic- resistant infections which is protected under a patent issued by Australia.
Dr. Paul Keim, Director of TGen’s Pathogen Genomics Division, or TGen North, based in Flagstaff said this is a rapid, 1-hour test will precisely identify a family of antibiotic-resistant Staph infections which is broadly refer to as MRSA.
Antibiotic-resistant infections should be easier to detect, and hospitals could become safer.
Hopefully, this technology would be adopted worldwide by hospitals and clinics, and will help identify and isolate these dangerous and difficult-to-eliminate infections that have come to plague the medical institutions, “The result would be more rapid diagnosis, improved treatment of patients, and reduced medical costs.”
Due to the increasing use of implantable biomaterials and medical devices, infections are increasingly caused by CNS. This is a type of Staph that is often resistant to multiple antibiotics and has a particular affinity for these devices.
MRSA — Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus — is an antibiotic-resistant form of the Staph bacteria that annually kills more Americans than HIV. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is caused by a type of staph bacteria that’s become resistant to many of the antibiotics used to treat ordinary staph infections.
Most MRSA infections occur in people who’ve been in hospitals or other health care settings, such as nursing homes and dialysis centers. When it occurs in these settings, it’s known as health care-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). HA-MRSA infections typically are associated with invasive procedures or devices, such as surgeries, intravenous tubing or artificial joints.
Another type of MRSA infection has occurred in the wider community -among healthy people. This form, community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA), often begins as a painful skin boil. It’s spread by skin-to-skin contact. At-risk populations include groups such as high school wrestlers, child care workers and people who live in crowded conditions.
While MRSA technically refers to one particular strain of Staph, the genomics-based test developed by TGen, NAU and DxNA can precisely detect multiple types of drug-resistant Staph bacterial infections, including drug resistant Coagulase Negative Staphylococcus (CNS), a much more common infection than MRSA.
Staph infections are the most common hospital-acquired or associated infections. While most of the focus over the past few years has been on MRSA, in terms of incidence and total cost, strains of Staph other than MRSA are a much more common problem.
David Taus, CEO of DxNA LLC said “Rapid identification and differentiation of these resistant bacteria is key to optimizing treatment decisions that significantly impact patient outcomes and cost of care.” “Given that resistant CNS is a frequent pathogen in surgical site infections, orthopedic and cardiac device infections, and blood stream infections — among others — it is critical that we be able to rapidly identify and determine antibiotic resistance to provide for appropriate pre-surgical antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent infections and early and effective treatment when these infections do occur.”
DxNA’s Staphylococcus Test identifies and differentiates resistant and non-resistant strains of Staph and CNS. Where, Current molecular tests for MRSA all ignore CNS, rendering their results significantly less useful in treating patients given that drug resistant CNS infections are many times more common than MRSA.
The test uses three separate proprietary biomarker targets and a proprietary methodology to determine which types of Staph are present, and which carry the gene that causes antibiotic-resistance in these bacteria.
Taus said “The test also is effective in identifying infected specimens where there are multiple types of Staph. The test will rapidly provide broader clinically-actionable results, improving antibiotic prophylaxis, early targeted intervention resulting in more effective treatment at lower costs,”
Soon, similar patent approvals are expected by the U.S., Canada, European Union, Japan, Brazil and other nations for this “superbug” test developed by TGen and NAU, and licensed to DxNA LLC, a company based in St. George, Utah.
Keywords: TGen, NAU, DxNA LLC, MRSA, diagnostic technology, Australian patents.