New device IDs disease-causing germs

August 22, 2013

(HealthDay)—A new spectrometer system designed to identify 193 yeast and bacteria that are capable of making people sick has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The Vitek MS can screen for yeasts such as Candida and Malassezia and bacteria from the Staphylococcaceae and pneumonia families, the agency said in a news release. People with AIDS and others with are most prone to infections from these germs.

The device uses a laser to break germs into pattern-forming particles that are unique to each or bacterium, the FDA said. Only a small amount is necessary to identify these germs, which collectively are responsible for skin, bloodstream and respiratory infections.

In clinical testing, the new device correctly identified a germ's scientific group or family more than 93 percent of the time, the agency said.

The Vitek MS is manufactured by bioMerieux Inc of Durham, N.C.

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