Committed to supporting the fight against HIV/AIDS, Beckman Coulter announced an expansion of its CARES (Cellular Accessible Retroviral Evaluation Systems) initiative at the 2015 International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference, held at the Vancouver Convention Centre from July 19-22. The initiative focuses on providing innovative solutions for the monitoring of HIV and AIDS treatment in Africa. This manufacturer also made a donation of $2,500 (USD) to the AIDS Vancouver charity at the conference.
To meet the increasing demand for CD4 monitoring in Africa, Beckman has developed a compact flow cytometry analyzer, the AQUIOS CL Flow Cytometer. CD4 cells or T-cells are a type of white blood cells that play a major role in protecting the body from infection. A person’s CD4 cell count must be 200 ml or less to qualify for antiretroviral treatment through the national program.
This flow cytometer has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the clinical laboratory. Though the device can be used nearer to the patient to run the assay, it should be within a laboratory environment – with protocols for standardization and assay quality as required by the country’s National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS). However, this high precision ‘LOAD & GO’ instrument has been designed specifically for smaller laboratories and can be operated by minimally trained users. Easy to operate with integrated automated sample preparation, the device delivers first results within 20 minutes for routine applications such as immunophenotyping. Subsequent results are available at a rate of 25 samples per hour for up to a full 96-well plate.
Once the samples are loaded, the cytometer automatically carries out mixing, cap piercing, sample preparation, and analysis. Its automated cap-piercing technology helps reduce staff exposure to biohazardous samples.
“For the first time, a compact, laboratory instrument is available that offers high quality, fully automated CD4 counts. The rapid turnaround time and ease of use mean that doctors and patients can get results in well under an hour, and timely treatment decisions can be made,” says Dr. Jeannine T. Holden, Beckman Coulter’s Director of Scientific Affairs.