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New test system identifies 193 different yeasts and bacteria known to cause illness (FDA Press Release)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today allowed marketing in the U.S. of the first mass spectrometer system for automated identification of bacteria and yeasts that are known to cause serious illness in humans. The VITEK MS can identify 193 different microorganisms and can perform up to 192 different tests in a single automated series of testing, with each test taking about one minute.

The VITEK MS can identify yeasts such as those from the Candida, Cryptococcus and Malassezia groups, and bacteria from the Staphylococcaceae, Streptococcaceae, Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonadaceae, and Bacteroidaceaefamilies, which are associated with skin infections, pneumonia, meningitis, and bloodstream infections. People with immune systems that are compromised or weakened by HIV/AIDS, cancer treatment, or anti-rejection therapy following an organ transplant are particularly vulnerable to these infections.

“The ability for laboratories to use one device to identify almost 200 different microorganisms is a significant advance in the timely identification of pathogenic microorganisms,” said Alberto Gutierrez, Ph.D., director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health at FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Rapid identification of harmful microorganisms can improve the care of critically ill patients.”

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