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Curetis, Karolinska Institute Collaborate to Identify Bacterial Co-Infections in COVID-19 Patients

NEW YORK – Opgen subsidiary Curetis announced Tuesday it is collaborating with Sweden's Karolinska Institute to identify bacterial co-infections in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.

Curetis provided the institute, which has previously evaluated the Unyvero system and Hospitalized Pneumonia panel, with additional Unyvero analyzers and HPN cartridges to increase throughput. COVID-19 patients in intensive care units and on ventilation are at a higher risk of developing deadly bacterial co-infections, Curetis said.

The Unyvero HPN panel detects 21 clinically relevant pathogens and 17 antibiotic resistance markers in less than five hours, the company said.

In a statement, Curetis noted that high-risk COVID-19 patients, including the elderly and those with preexisting conditions that compromise their immune systems, are more vulnerable to bacterial co-infections that may be life-threatening and which may not be identified based only on clinical symptoms.

"Time is critical when managing a novel virus and bacterial pneumonia co-infections, especially during a pandemic of such grave scale as COVID-19," said OpGen CEO Oliver Schacht. "Rapid multiplex molecular diagnostics can play a crucial role in the fight against the pandemic."

The Unyvero LRT BAL panel was cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration last year for use with bronchoalveolar lavage fluids.