Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Abbott Molecular ID System to be Used in Five-State Biopreparedness Evaluation Program: Breaking News

By Ben Butkus

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Abbott said today that its Plex-ID system for molecular identification and characterization of emerging infectious organisms is being used as part of a biopreparedness evaluation program in collaboration with the Association of Public Health Laboratories and five state public health labs.

The goal of the biopreparedness evaluation program is to demonstrate how the Plex-ID system can help public health authorities identify and characterize a wide range of microorganisms in surveillance activities for infectious diseases, food safety analysis, and biodefense readiness.

Abbott's announcement coincided with the opening of a new 81,000-sq.-ft.Unified State Lab for the Utah Department of Health, one of the five participating public health labs. The other participating state public labs are in Oklahoma, Minnesota, New York, and Virginia.

Abbott launched the Plex-ID system last summer as the next-generation version of its Ibis T5000 Biosensor system. The system combines automated sample preparation, PCR amplification, electospray ionization mass spectrometry, and information management to rapidly characterize known and unknown organisms. Abbott said the system can provide test results in six to seven hours instead of three or more days as required with other laboratory methods.

Plex-ID can identify a broad range of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and certain parasites, and provide information about drug resistance, virulence, and strain type, according to the company. Anticipated public health applications include epidemiologic surveillance, monitoring pandemic diseases, and identifying emerging or previously unknown agents. The system also is being used for forensic characterization of human samples.

Although the platform is not cleared for diagnostic use, Abbott is developing "a wide variety of assays for clinical diagnosis of infectious diseases which remain inadequately served by current methods," Stafford O'Kelly, head of Abbott's molecular diagnostics business, said in a statement.

Abbott said that it has begun to collect specimens and install instruments at clinical trial sites, and that Plex-ID is expected to meet all the requirements for CE Marking in the European Union by June.

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.