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New Lab Test Helps Hospitals Detect Drug-Resistant ‘Superbugs’

Assay identifies emerging strains of MRSA (January 13)

BD Diagnostics has received FDA clearance to market the BD MAX MRSA XT assay for use on the BD MAX system. This is the second assay from the company that can detect newly emerging strains of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) with the mecC gene.

Launched in 2013, the BD MAX StaphSR assay reports results for both S. aureus (SA) and MRSA and was the first commercially available assay in the U.S. to detect mecC strains of MRSA. Both assays can identify a broad range of SA strains, including mecA and mecC dropout mutants, and new strains of MRSA.

MRSA strains with the newly emerging mecC gene account for nearly 3% of all new MRSA cases in some communities but cannot be detected by all assays.

Molecular assays for MRSA are used in active surveillance programs to quickly identify colonized patients. Inaccurate detection may contribute to uncontrolled transmission of MRSA and to inappropriate use of health care resources.

Source: BD Diagnostics; January 13, 2014.

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