Dr. Jack Regan reports
LEXAGENE'S LARGEST STUDY VALIDATES ACCURACY OF ITS VETERINARY TEST PANEL
Lexagene Holdings Inc. has successfully utilized its MiQLab system to correctly identify bacteria and determine the presence of anti-microbial resistance (AMR) markers that predict resistance to commonly prescribed first-line veterinary antibiotics.
Decades of overuse of antibiotics have resulted in a drastic rise in pathogens that are very difficult to treat due to their rapid evolution to resist the killing effect of prescribed therapies. The problem has become so prevalent, and very few new drugs are in development, that the CDC predicts anti-microbial resistant pathogens will kill more than 10 million people per year in less than 30 years. To put this into perspective, over three million people died of COVID-19 in 2020, which would equate to just one-third of the yearly expected impact from drug resistant bacteria. The pandemic appears to have potentially accelerated these grim projections, as drug resistant infections have risen sharply during the pandemic and contributed to increased mortality. Providers have been slow to implement changes in drug prescription practices due to a lack of technologies that quickly inform on drug resistance at the point of care.
At the largest veterinary trade shows in September, Lexagene was the only company exhibiting with a product capable of rapid pathogen identification and AMR detection at the point of care, and accordingly the technology was met with much enthusiasm.
Dr. Jack Regan, Lexagene's chief executive officer and founder, stated: "The results from this study prove that the MiQLab is extremely accurate. Lexagene's MiQLab has already started to help veterinarians with evidence-based decision-making at the point of care, and these actions are critical to averting the grim projections on the number of future deaths due to AMR pathogens. We are happy that we are gaining momentum in veterinary diagnostics and expect our technology to eventually be considered a must-have for veterinary hospitals interested in offering best-in-class service."
He continued: "Published veterinary studies report that as little as 18 per cent of urine samples taken from animals suspected of having a urinary tract infection (UTI) test positive for pathogens, but getting this information typically takes approximately five days. Many veterinarians are unwilling to wait this long for test results as an untreated urinary tract infection can lead to significant complications. As such, most veterinarians empirically prescribe drugs to pets suspected of having an infection because they are fearful of not treating a potentially dangerous infection. Such overuse of antibiotics has increased the prevalence of drug resistant pathogens and veterinarians are now increasingly caring for patients with unresolved infections, which can sometimes lead to euthanizing a pet, which contributes to caregiver depression."
Lexagene is proud to offer veterinarians the MiQLab system as a solution to minimize the number of unresolved infections, which the company believes will not only help save the lives of animals, but also improve the morale of veterinarians who tirelessly care for companion pets.
About the study
The study used two sets of bacterial pathogens. The first set consisted of 32 sequenced strains from the CDC Antibiotic Resistance Isolate Bank. The second set included 74 bacterial isolates from dogs with urinary tract infections. These isolates were not sequenced and have only culture-based drug resistance profiles associated with them.
MiQLab systems, equipped with MiQLab Bacterial and AMR Test V2 panels, recorded 100 per cent and 99.1 per cent overall per cent agreements for pathogen identification for the sequenced CDC pathogens and the non-sequenced canine UTI isolates, respectively. Likewise, the MiQLab recorded 96.2 per cent and 92.5 per cent overall per cent agreements for anti-microbial resistance for the sequenced CDC pathogens and non-sequenced canine UTI isolates for which only culture data are available, respectively.
An in-depth version of these data is being compiled for a peer-reviewed publication.
About Lexagene Holdings Inc.
Lexagene is a molecular diagnostics company that develops molecular diagnostic systems for pathogen detection and genetic testing for other molecular markers for on-site rapid testing in veterinary diagnostics, food safety and for use in open-access markets such as clinical research, agricultural testing and biodefence. End-users simply need to collect a sample, load it onto the instrument with a sample preparation cartridge, enter sample ID and press go. The MiQLab system delivers excellent sensitivity, specificity and breadth of detection, and can return results in approximately two hours. The unique open-access feature is designed for custom testing so that end-users can load their own real-time PCR assays onto the instrument to target any genetic target of interest.
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