World-first research to rapidly diagnose sepsis-causing blood stream infections was launched at Mackay Base Hospital’s Pathology Queensland laboratory today.
Microbio’s InfectID-BSI (blood stream infection) assay uses PCR testing to find the DNA of bacteria and yeast to allow clinicians to prescribe specific antimicrobials. Currently blood samples are cultured for 12 hours or longer to see what bacteria or yeast grows.
Researcher Professor Flavia Huygens said it was hoped clinical trials would show her assay produced a result in three hours from collection of the blood sample.
Mackay Institute of Research and Innovation Professor David Farlow said the technology had the potential to revolutionise the detection of sepsis globally.
“Sepsis is life threatening, it’s hugely debilitating and people can literally die within hours. The decline happens very quickly.
“I was a clinician on the floor for 25 years in a rural hospital and at Mackay Base and any experienced clinician will have witnessed patients die in front of them in hours.
“The global evidence is the mortality rate of septic shock is around 30% so one in three people will die while we wait to find out what is making them sick.
“The quicker you know what is causing the infection the quicker the best and most appropriate antibiotics can be administered to the patient,” he sid.
The Microbio team has launched the two-week user acceptance trial, teaching local staff how to run the test and hope that 50 samples will be analysed.