3M Health Care launches diagnostics unit for rapid detection of
28 March 2007
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. 3M Health Care has created a
new Medical Diagnostics business unit to develop and commercialize rapid
diagnostic products for detecting key infectious pathogens such as MRSA and
other treatment-resistant microbes.
This new business will offer hospitals
new rapid diagnostic tests to detect the presence of potentially destructive
microbes before they spread and possibly infect patients.
"3M Medical Diagnostics is a natural extension of our infection
prevention platform and enables us to offer hospitals a full spectrum of
products that detect, prevent and treat infections in the hospital setting,"
said Dr Angela Dillow, Global Business Manager, 3M Medical Diagnostics. "We
see many market trends pointing to the need for rapid, easy-to-use microbial
diagnostics that will aid in the prevention and control of infections in
hospitals in the U.S. and abroad."
In the US, the
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that approximately 90,000 deaths
annually are attributable to hospital-acquired (nosocomial) infections.(1)
New guidelines were issued by the CDC in October 2006 outlining strategies
to prevent the spread of drug-resistant infections in healthcare settings.
The screening of patients at high risk for carrying drug-resistant bacteria
was recommended for healthcare facilities that do not improve their
healthcare-associated infection (HCAI) rates.
In the US, current infection
prevention patient screening activities include no screening at all,
traditional cultures, which provide results in 48 hours, or expensive
molecular diagnostics. 3M plans to introduce new rapid diagnostic products
that will simplify the diagnostic testing process and provide more rapid
results than traditional microbiology tests for the detection of key
microbes such as Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA and Influenza A and B.
remain a persistent challenge for hospitals worldwide. A prevalence survey
conducted under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 55
hospitals of 14 countries representing 4 WHO Regions (Europe, Eastern
Mediterranean, South-East Asia and Western Pacific) showed an average of 8.7
percent of hospital patients had nosocomial infections. At any time, over
1.4 million people worldwide suffer from infectious complications acquired
1. AJIC: American Journal of Infection Control.
33(4):217-226, May 2005.
2. Prevention of hospital-acquired infections: a practical guide.