Manchester, United Kingdom, April 4, 2011 / b3c newswire / - Myconostica, specialising in rapid molecular diagnostic tests for life-threatening fungal infections, announces the publication (Hauser et al, J. Clin. Microbiol.) of a multicentre prospective trial of its CE marked kit, MycAssay™ Pneumocystis for the detection of Pneumocystis jirovecii. The trial results compare well with clinical diagnosis using non-molecular methods and demonstrate the high sensitivity and specificity of the PCR diagnostic assay.
The trial recruited 110 subjects from a variety of underlying diseases and conditions including solid organ transplants, leukaemia, solid tumours and HIV. Respiratory bronchoalveolar samples were analysed and 13/14 patients with clinically proven Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) were identified and 9/96 patients without PCP at the time of the test also gave positive results. Subsequently one of these patients developed PCP while the others were considered to be colonised with Pneumocystis jirovecii.
PCP remains a formidable infection in both AIDS and non-AIDS patients with mortality rates in excess of 20%. Establishing the diagnosis of PCP is currently performed by microscopy of lung tissue, bronchial lavage or other deep respiratory samples. PCP primarily affects the alveoli; consquently deep pulmonary samples are necessary for adequate microscopy. Many fewer organisms are usually present in non-AIDS patients with PCP, which adversely affects diagnostic performance of the microscopic tests.
Commenting on these results, Dr. John Thornback, Chief Business Officer of Myconostica said:“ This is, to our knowledge, the first multi centre prospective trial of a commercial PCR test for Pneumocystis. Pneumocystis PCR is clearly a very sensitive means of detecting this fungal pathogen in at risk patients. The introduction of new technologies such as Pneumocystis PCR often results in reappraisal of disease, and this may be the case here. The early identification of infected patients may open opportunities for early interventions. Myconostica is committed to working with the clinical community to better understand the role that PCR can play in the diagnosis of life threatening fungal infections, such as Pneumocystis, as early as possible in at risk patient populations."
About Myconostica Ltd. – www.myconostica.co.uk
Myconostica Ltd, a UK-based medical diagnostic company specialises in rapid molecular diagnostic tests for life-threatening fungal infections. Traditional methods of the detection of fungal infections are well documented as being relatively insensitive and slow. Tests provided by Myconostica aim to allow healthcare professionals to rapidly identify patients infected thus enabling clinicians to prescribe appropriate drug therapy.
Myconostica is developing and commercialising a portfolio of real-time molecular diagnostic tests for life-threatening fungal infections. Over 10 million people are at risk of these infections each year in Europe and North America alone.
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