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New Panel Quickly and Accurately Identifies 16 Common Gastrointestinal Pathogens

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 06 Jun 2024

Gastrointestinal (GI) infections significantly contribute to infectious disease cases globally, particularly among young children. The symptoms of GI infections, such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain, are typically nonspecific and overlapping, making it challenging to identify the exact causative pathogens, which could be bacteria, viruses, or parasites. Accurate diagnosis is crucial for providing timely and effective care. Traditional methods for diagnosing GI infections often involve multiple time-consuming tests that require specialized expertise, such as stool culture and microscopy. These tests can take 1–2 days or more to yield results, and the diagnostic yield is often low. Traditional microbiological testing may need samples to be incubated for at least 24 hours and up to 10 days. In contrast, a multiplex syndromic panel test can deliver results for multiple bacterial, viral, and parasitic pathogens in about an hour. This faster and more sensitive method can significantly improve diagnostic yield, enhance patient management, and support antimicrobial stewardship efforts. An innovative molecular test now offers rapid and accurate identification of up to 16 common GI pathogens, generating results in approximately one hour using real-time PCR technology.

QIAGEN’s (Venlo, Netherlands) QIAstat-Dx Gastrointestinal Panel 2 aims to enhance the accuracy and efficiency of GI diagnosis. This panel can simultaneously detect up to 16 clinically relevant bacterial, viral, and parasitic pathogens causing most GI infections in about an hour. It utilizes QIAstat-Dx’s real-time PCR technology to quickly amplify multiple genetic targets. The software interprets signals from the reaction and provides positive or negative results for each pathogen. Additionally, QIAstat-Dx offers easy-to-view cycle threshold (Ct) values and amplification curves, providing extra insights not available with end-point PCR or other techniques.

Image: The QIAstat-Dx Gastrointestinal Panel 2 has received U.S. FDA clearance for use in clinical settings (Photo courtesy of QIAGEN)
Image: The QIAstat-Dx Gastrointestinal Panel 2 has received U.S. FDA clearance for use in clinical settings (Photo courtesy of QIAGEN)

QIAGEN has launched the QIAstat-Dx Gastrointestinal Panel 2 in the U.S., following FDA clearance for its clinical use. Acute infectious gastroenteritis is a common cause of hospitalizations and outpatient visits in the U.S., with an estimated 180 million cases annually. The U.S. launch will help healthcare providers diagnose and treat patients quickly and accurately, allowing for rapid isolation of those at risk of spreading infections and earlier identification of negative cases. This can reduce unnecessary testing and treatment costs for the U.S. healthcare system and patients. The new panel expands QIAGEN’s U.S. syndromic testing menu, complementing the QIAstat-Dx Respiratory Panel Plus, which can identify 21 pathogens causing respiratory infections from viral and bacterial sources. Both panels are available as cost-efficient, single-use cartridges that easily fit into the QIAstat-Dx Analyzer 1.0. These cartridges contain all necessary reagents, allowing for setup in less than a minute without the need for precision pipetting.

“The QIAstat-Dx Gastrointestinal Panel 2 allows medical professionals to identify which GI pathogen they are dealing with quickly,” said Fernando Beils, Senior Vice President and Head of the Molecular Diagnostics Business Area at QIAGEN. “This is QIAGEN’s answer to two major problems in treating GI infections: diagnosis of overlapping symptoms and laborious testing methods.”

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