The potential to save lives and make a difference in hospitals and nursing homes prompted QIAGEN to create a dedicated team in 2012 to develop and commercialize a portfolio of artus diagnostic assays targeting a broad range of HAIs and performed on the QIAsymphony RGQ automation platform. “
We decided to add healthcare-associated infections to the QIAsymphony content menu because HAIs pose a major threat to our healthcare system – both an economic threat and a threat to the lives of patients,” says Dr. Andreas Schaefer, Vice President, Infectious Diseases Program Management at QIAGEN. “We knew we could develop assays that addressed weaknesses in the existing methods, to help contain these serious infections.”
QIAGEN is now helping healthcare providers control HAIs with advanced molecular tests for diagnosing suspected HAIs as well as preventive screening. In 2014, QIAGEN launched the FDA-cleared artus C. difficile test in the United States. In Europe, artus tests for C. diff and MRSA are available with CE-IVD marking, with more tests in clinical development.
In addition to pioneering the proactive screening of incoming patients to reduce the hospital’s own HAI rate, Dr. Peterson’s lab at NorthShore has conducted research as part of the U.S. regulatory clearance process for many new diagnostic tests. He says the QIAsymphony RGQ MDx performed well in recent clinical trials involving the artus tests for detection of C. difficile infections as well as tests for two other infectious diseases.
Adding HAIs to QIAsymphony’s testing menu – which also includes diagnostics for blood-borne viruses, monitoring of transplant patients, and for personalizing treatments for cancer patients – makes the automation platform very economically viable for many clinical labs.
“The clinical need in healthcare-associated infections is driving dissemination of molecular testing into small and mid-sized hospitals. They are switching to molecular diagnostics from traditional methods because they need rapid, accurate results to optimize care and contain these infections,” says Gosia Leitch, Global Product Manager, Infectious Diseases.