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Mercy Integrated Labs Implements PNA FISH(R) Tests to Help Clinicians Provide Best Care for Patients With Bloodstream Infections

St. Charles Mercy Hospital, St. Anne Mercy Hospital and St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center become first hospitals in the Toledo area to use a new, cutting edge diagnostic technology to fight serious infections and improve patient care and outcomes.

WOBURN, Mass. and VEDBAEK, Denmark, March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- AdvanDx today announced that Mercy Integrated Labs in Toledo, Ohio has implemented AdvanDx's PNA FISH(R) tests to identify bloodstream pathogens 1 to 3 days earlier than conventional methods to help physicians, pharmacists and nurses at hospitals served by the lab to 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 rapidly detects bacteria's genetic material to provide identification results 1 to 3 days sooner than conventional methods for serious pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus, Enterococcus faecalis, Enterococcus faecium, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Candida albicans and Candida glabrata (1).

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). St. Charles Mercy Hospital, St. Anne Mercy Hospital and St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center are the first hospitals in the Toledo area to implement the rapid PNA FISH tests and enable their clinicians to use the fast, therapy-directing diagnostic results to improve care and outcomes for their patients.

"We are very excited to provide the latest diagnostic tool to help our clinicians diagnose these serious infections earlier in our critically ill patients," said Dr. Luis Juaregui, Chief of Infectious Diseases at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, who along with Dr. Arletta Aouad, Infectious Diseases Physician at St. Vincent, and Dr. Mary McNamera, Infectious Diseases Physician at St. Charles Mercy Hospital, 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. Juaregui added.

About Mercy Integrated Labs

Mercy Integrated Labs is a part of the Mercy Health Partners' (MHP), a not for profit health system in Northwest Ohio dedicated to improving the health of people in its communities with emphasis on its 154-year mission of caring for all in need. Mercy Integrated Laboratories is dedicated to providing comprehensive, high-quality laboratory services to physicians, patients and the communities it serves and believes that each patient should be treated as an individual whose laboratory testing forms an integral part of his or her total medical care.

By providing state-of-the art testing, integrated medical records, consultation, and outstanding customer service, Mercy Integrated Laboratories contribute to the quality, access, continuity of care, and cost-effectiveness of patient care. The laboratory is licensed and accredited by CAP, AABB (American Association of Blood Banks) and CLIA, under the direction of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

In addition to Mercy Integrated Labs, Mercy is composed of St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, St. Charles Mercy Hospital, St. Anne Mercy Hospital, St. Vincent Mercy Children's Hospital, Mercy Hospital of Tiffin, Mercy Hospital of Willard, Mercy Hospital of Defiance, St. Vincent & University of Toledo Life Flight and Mercy College of Northwest Ohio. Please visit for additional information regarding Mercy Health Partners.


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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