Akonni Biosystems launches TruSentry for rapid genetic screening of diseases

16 Feb 2011

Akonni Biosystems has announced the availability of TruSentry, a fully automated system designed for rapid identification of infectious microorganisms and drug resistant variants at a significantly lower overall cost.

TruSentry brings together Tecan’s Freedom EVO 200 liquid handling system with Akonni’s TruTip technology for ultra-rapid sample extraction and TruArray microarray platform for low-cost, highly-multiplexed screening.

The fully automated, sample-to-answer system significantly increases throughput compared to other systems available in the market today that are based on real-time PCR, magnetic bead, or traditional microarray technologies. The highly modular nature of Akonni’s technology enables it to more rapidly extract pathogens from a broader range of clinical samples (such as blood, sputum, nasal wash, urine, stool or CSF), and to more quickly develop and launch new and custom assays, providing users with complete flexibility to test for new targets as they become known.

Dr Charles Daitch, CEO of Akonni Biosystems, explains, "With a rapidly growing and mobile human population coupled to the ever present threat caused by expanding genetic variants of drug-resistant pathogen strains, it is becoming increasingly important to have the ability to proactively protect communities from the rapid spread of disease.

“Current microarray, bead-based and PCR-based systems are severely limited in that they are either too costly for high-throughput screening applications, are difficult to scale, or severely restrict the types of clinical sample matrices and number of diseases that can be addressed simultaneously.

"Further, most of these systems do not afford the flexibility to rapidly design tests that incorporate newly identified variants or region-specific targets. In TruSentry, we are introducing the industry’s first system that combines affordable screening for pathogens on a microarray platform with the ability to simultaneously detect tens to hundreds of disease-causing agents and their variants.”

Capable of processing from as few as 8 to more than 3,000 unique samples per day, initial solutions for TruSentry will include several low-cost, highly-multiplexed applications. These applications include tests for identifying:

  1. seasonal influenza viruses, with sub typing for oseltamivir resistance;
  2. other viruses that cause respiratory ailments, such as parainfluenza virus , respiratory syncytial virus, monkeypox virus, human respiratory virus, adenovirus, corona virus and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS);
  3. the most common bio-security threat agents, including Bacillus anthracis, vaccinia virus, and Yersinia pestis;
  4. Mycobacterium tuberculosis and its multidrug-resistant strains; and
  5. methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Future applications will include highly-multiplexed solutions for screening for gastroenteritis agents; for blood-borne pathogens, such as hepatitis A, B and C viruses; and for common sexually-transmitted bacteria, including C. trachomatis, N. gonorrhoeae, M. genitalium, M. hominis, and U. urealyticum. The system is also easily adapted for other purposes, eg newborn screening, cancer screening, or companion diagnostic applications.


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