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A new method to detect the superbug MRSA that only takes a fraction of the time of previous tests has so far proved 100% accurate, according to the company that developed it.
Birmingham Children’s Hospital has recently introduced the GeneXpert test for patients waiting to enter intensive care.
Molecular diagnostics firm Cepheid said not only does its test take just one hour to identify if a patient has MRSA, but every result has also been verified as accurate by later culture-based tests.
Detection of MRSA in patients heading for intensive care is crucial as they will likely undergo medical procedures that carry a risk of introducing MRSA into sites of the body where it can cause serious harm, such as the lungs and the bloodstream. It is also important in stopping the spread of the disease to other patients.
Previously, traditional tests – where the bacteria is grown in a Petri dish in a micro-biology lab – take up to three days to verify.
Consultant microbiologist Dr Jim Gray said: “It made sense to start the screening with ICU patients as they are the most susceptible to contracting the MRSA infection due to the bacteria most commonly gaining access to the body through open wounds, injections, catheters and IV sites.”
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