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Cepheid Infinity analyser could dramatically reduce turnaround times

The Cepheid Infinity analyser heralds a new era in the delivery of diagnostic services and collaboration between departments.

In terms of impact, the turnaround of results on patients screened for Carbapenamase Producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) infection has potentially dropped from around three days to same day testing within two hours if required.

Manchester Medical Microbiology Partnership (MMMP) has recently taken delivery of the new instrument, funded by Public Health England.

This is only the fourth Cepheid Infinity to be placed in the UK to date, the first outside of London and a first for Public Health England.

The emergence of CPE and their impact on patients as a Health Care Acquired Infection (HCAI) has become a serious problem.

The opportunity to utilise rapid screening to effectively manage the situation was therefore one which couldn't be passed by.

The development of rapid molecular assays for the detection of CPEs provided a potential resolution to the problem.

Using the experience gained by the Virology Molecular section over nearly 20 years of initiating and running molecular testing programs, and a working knowledge of the Cepheid system gained in Bacteriology running assays for the detection of other bacterial targets (eg. Clostridium difficile and Mycobacterium tuberculosis), knowledge and ideas were exchanged to enable the Cepheid Infinity to make rapid real time testing of numerous patient samples a reality.

A training program run by Cepheid was supported by means of competency assessments and induction into the molecular suite in Virology.

The Infinity will be operated by staff from Virology and Bacteriology to deliver rapid screening to aid infection control and ultimately to provide the opportunity for an out of hours molecular diagnostics service not currently available.

It is hoped in the near future to further harmonise the approach taken by both departments and to explore use of the platform to test for viral infections such as viral meningitis caused by viruses such as Herpes simplex virus as an On Call service.

Further development of respiratory virus detection to assist infection control management based on new assays on the Cepheid are planned to speed diagnosis and treatments of these infections.

Other HCAIs such as Norovirus are also scheduled to receive benefits of more accessible rapid diagnostic testing leading to further patient benefits in the near future

Additionally, both the Virology and Bacteriology departments were also able to benefit from an efficiency evaluation (LEAN) performed by the supplier to further enhance the performance of their processes supported by the Cepheid technology.

It is hoped that this continuing collaboration will reap further benefits in the future as new developments come on stream.