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Multiplex PCR System Detects Bacterial and Viral Pathogens at POC

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 11 Jul 2023
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Image: Rhonda is a PCR point-of-care (POC) analyzer for use with Rhonda disks (Photo courtesy of Spindiag)
Image: Rhonda is a PCR point-of-care (POC) analyzer for use with Rhonda disks (Photo courtesy of Spindiag)

Following symptom onset and hospital admission of patients with suspected infectious diseases, it can take a long time, sometimes spanning several days, for lab results to determine whether quarantine is necessary. Now, a PCR-based rapid testing system detects infectious agents, and viral and bacterial pathogens within less than an hour and provides results right at the patient admission, allowing healthcare professionals to decide on the spot to isolate or not.

Spindiag GmbH’s (Freiburg, Germany) Rhonda is a rapid multiplex PCR system that offers healthcare professionals a sustainable platform for reliable infection control at the point of care. Rhonda allows for the direct detection of pathogens as soon as a patient is admitted to the hospital, in a safe, simple, and efficient manner. Spindiag's proprietary microfluidic technology enables Rhonda to deliver quick, accurate, and convenient results for an array of infectious diseases. At present, Rhonda is capable of detecting a variety of respiratory pathogens such as Influenza A/B, RSV, SARS-CoV-2, and MRSA. However, the system has the capacity to identify up to 36 pathogens from a single sample and the potential to incorporate alternative Nucleic Acid Amplification (NAAT) and Immunoassay (IA) technologies. Rhonda can perform two analyses for the same pathogens in a single run.

Rhonda offers excellent sensitivity and user-friendliness, requiring minimal training for operation. It has a simple process that includes barcode scanning and the use of three touch buttons. The system also allows direct insertion of standard swab samples into the test cartridge, eliminating the need for pipetting. Rhonda provides fully automated analysis and high-quality PCR results of laboratory-grade within an hour. The results are displayed on the device and digitally transferred to the Rhonda app and the hospital's HIS/LIS IT systems. Spindiag is currently working to make the Rhonda platform even faster, aiming for a 15-minute range, and developing new applications leveraging the company's unique strength of high multiplexing capability at an excellent cost structure.

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