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Cepheid Gets European OK for VRE Test

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Molecular diagnostics firm Cepheid today said that it has received the CE Mark for its test that rapidly identifies the vanA and/or vanB genes, which are most commonly associated with vancomycin-resistant Enterococci.
The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based firm also said that it has launched the Xpert vanA/vanB test, which provides results in 45 minutes and runs on the company’s GeneXpert System. It is the first test developed and manufactured by Cepheid’s Swedish subsidiary, Cepheid AB.
The test will compete with another molecular diagnostic test, the BD GeneOhm VanR assay, which also detects vanA and vanB genes and is sold by Becton Dickinson. BD received the CE Mark for its test earlier this year.
Cepheid cited figures from the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System showing that VRE outbreaks increased in Europe from 3.3 percent in 2001 to 7.8 percent in 2004. Immunocompromised patients are at particular risk for VRE infections, which can cause wound, urinary tract, and intraabdominal infections, in addition to bacteremia and endocarditis.
“A rapid test for detection of drug resistance genes associated with VRE has the potential to significantly improve the way hospital surveillance is done for this group of organisms,” Fred Tenover, senior director of scientific affairs at Cepheid, said in a statement.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.