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Memorial University Medical Center (MUMC) Implements PNA FISH(R) Tests to Help Provide Best Care for Patients with Bloodstream Infections

First hospital in Georgia to use a new, cutting edge diagnostic technology to fight serious infections and improve patient care and outcomes.

WOBURN, Mass., and VEDBAEK, Denmark, June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- AdvanDx today announced Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia has implemented AdvanDx's PNA FISH(R) tests to identify bloodstream pathogens 1 to 3 days earlier than conventional methods to help their physicians, pharmacists and nurses improve care and outcomes for patients with bloodstream infections(1).

Every year, 350,000 patients contract bloodstream infections in the United States causing over 90,000 deaths and significant costs to the healthcare system. Rapid and accurate identification of the causative pathogen is crucial to ensuring appropriate antibiotic therapy and improving patient outcomes. Conventional diagnostic methods can take 48 hours or longer forcing physicians to treat patients empirically with broad-spectrum antibiotics that may prove to be ineffective and can lead to long-term resistance.

AdvanDx's PNA FISH tests employ unique technology that detects bacteria's genetic material to provide identification results in just over 2 hours. "The fast tests will enable the microbiology lab to provide results 1 to 3 days sooner than conventional methods for such serious pathogens as Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans and Candida glabrata," said Vera Pagan, Microbiology Manager at Memorial University Medical Center.

Clinical trials conducted at hospitals in the United States have shown that implementing PNA FISH and delivering fast results to clinicians directed earlier, effective antibiotic therapy, reduced mortality rates and improved hospital operational efficiency by reducing hospital length of stay, bed utilization, and pharmacy and lab costs related to unnecessary antibiotic use(1,2,3). Memorial University Medical Center is the first hospital in southeast Georgia to implement the rapid PNA FISH tests.

"We are very excited to implement the latest diagnostic tool to help our clinicians identify these serious infections in our critically ill patients," said. Richard S. Roth, M.D., infectious disease physician at Savannah Infectious Disease, who along with Jason Lin, Pharm.D., Clinical Infectious Diseases Pharmacist at Memorial University Medical Center are championing the clinical implementation of using rapid microbiology results to guide therapy. "The fast results from the laboratory will enable our clinicians to know which pathogens they are dealing with much earlier, will help them prescribe the most appropriate antibiotic, and allow us to deliver the best care for our patients," Dr. Roth added.

About Memorial Health

Memorial Health is a two-state healthcare organization serving a 35-county area in southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina. The system includes its flagship hospital, a 530-bed academic medical center; Memorial primary and specialty care physician networks; a major medical education program; business and industry services; and NurseOne, a 24-hour call center.

About Bloodstream Infections

Every year, 350,000 patients contract bloodstream infections, causing over 90,000 unnecessary deaths and significant costs to the healthcare system. The infection is detected when a culture of the patient's blood (i.e. a blood culture) turns positive with bacteria and yeast. Rapid and accurate identification of the specific infecting pathogen is crucial to ensure early and appropriate therapy and save patient lives.


PNA FISH is an easy-to-use and highly sensitive and specific fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assay that uses PNA (peptide nucleic acid) probes to target species specific ribosomal RNA (rRNA) in live bacteria and yeast. PNA FISH tests enable microbiology labs to provide rapid and accurate identification of bloodstream pathogens directly from positive blood cultures in hours instead of days. Clinical studies show that rapid identification of bloodstream pathogens using PNA FISH tests leads to more appropriate patient therapy that saves lives and reduces unnecessary antibiotic use, patient length of stay and hospital costs.

    (1)Forrest et al.  Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2008 Oct;52(10):3558-63.
    (2) Shoham et al. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008 Jun;4(3):637-40.
    (3) Forrest et al. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2006 Jul;58(1):154-8.


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