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Australian State Inks Contract for Cepheid Platform, MRSA Test

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Cepheid said today that Australia’s State of Victoria will use the firm’s GeneXpert system and Xpert MRSA tests for screening patients at high risk for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in up to 11 hospitals.
Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Cepheid said that the purchases are part of the ‘Start Clean’ Victorian Infection Control Strategy, a five-year program under which all 76 public hospitals in the state will need to provide public reporting of healthcare-acquired infections by the end of 2009.
Cepheid noted that the program includes a pay-for-performance concept that links federal funding to compliance timelines for hospitals. In addition to the screening and reporting components, the compliance strategy includes guidelines for use of antibiotics, hospital cleanliness, and hand hygiene.
Cepheid did not disclose how much the contract is worth.

The Scan

Breast Cancer Risk Related to Pathogenic BRCA1 Mutation May Be Modified by Repeats

Several variable number tandem repeats appear to impact breast cancer risk and age at diagnosis in almost 350 individuals carrying a risky Ashkenazi Jewish BRCA1 founder mutation.

Study Explores Animated Digital Message Approach to Communicate Genetic Test Results to Family Members

In the Journal of Genetic Counseling, the approach showed promise in participants presented with a hypothetical scenario related to a familial hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome diagnosis.

Computational Tool Predicts Mammalian Messenger RNA Degradation Rates

A tool called Saluki, trained with mouse and human messenger RNA data, appears to improve mRNA half-life predictions by taking RNA and genetic features into account, a Genome Biology paper reports.

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.