DNA Analyzers and Molecular Infectious Disease Testing

DNA testing is always in the news. Researchers are conducting DNA tests to determine Mona Lisa’s family connections. In January this year, we read about rapid DNA analyzers being installed in police stations and TSA checkpoints across America. One of the most important uses of DNA analysis is in molecular infectious disease (MID) testing. Modern DNA analyzers come with state-of-the-art features to ensure superior sensitivity and specificity for molecular assays, offering accurate and fast results for infectious disease diagnostics.

MID testing offers several advantages:

  • Quick results for tests to screen for outbreak and newly emerging strains of Chlamydia Trachomatis (CT), Neisseria Gonorrhoeae (GC), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and more
  • Sensitivity, specificity, identification of resistant organisms, and measurable association to disease severity
  • Multiplex methods that can simultaneously identify multiple infectious agents in a single clinical specimen
  • Detection of organisms that can be difficult to isolate or have not been cultured by traditional methods

All this helps timely therapeutic clinical decisions and early intervention to control infection.

The VERSANT 440 by Siemens Medical Solutions Diagnostics and the BD Probetec ET by Becton Dickinson are two versatile molecular systems that enhance the efficiency and safety of DNA testing.

The VERSANT 440 is designed for viral load testing of the HIV and the hepatitis C virus (HCV). This convenient walkaway, automatic diagnostic system enables reagent addition, incubation, washing, plate sealing, agitation and luminescence reading processes of branched-DNA (bDNA) assays. The risk of cross-contamination is reduced as the operator just needs to prepare and place assay reagents and serum or plasma specimens onboard the testing set-up and the instrument automatically completes the bDNA assay steps. The VERSANT offers a touch-screen computer user interface and bidirectional interface with the laboratory information system, thereby improving laboratory workflow and efficiency.

The BD ProbeTec ET System is a real-time DNA amplification assay for detecting Chlamydia trachomatis (CT) and Neisseria gonorrhoeae (GC) in clinical specimens. It offers short time-to-results, minimal labor, high throughput and ease-of-use. Daily maintenance for the complete system takes less than five minutes for. Hands on time and possible errors are minimized with LIS connectivity and barcode accession support.