PositiveID Corporation announces new Multiplex Biothreat Assay

The PositiveID Corporation recently announced the launch of its of its Multiplex Biothreat Assay, a device capable of detecting six biothreat organisms from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s A and B lists of dangerous pathogens.

MicroFluidic Systems, which became a fully owned subsidiary of PositiveID in May, developed the device. PositiveID, which, in addition to biothreat detection equipment, also develops clinical diagnostics and technologies for diabetes management. The company plans to target the assay at public health and university laboratories.

PositiveID said that the multiplex assay is intended for research and investigative use and is unique because of its ability to rapidly detect and identify multiple organisms, unlike existing methods that require a larger sample are more costly and not amenable to high-throughput analysis.

The multiplex assay is capable of providing test results for six organisms in 30 to 90 minutes, the time it takes to complete a single polymerase chain reaction. Other methods can take several hours to complete multiple tests. The assay has been validated against more than 150 near-neighbors, environmental samples and naturally occurring strains.

The assay tests for six organisms - Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax), Yersinia pestis (plague), Francisella tularensis (tularemia), Burkholderia Pseudomallei (melioidosis), Burkholderia mallei (Glanders), and Variola major (smallpox).