New method of bioagent identification developed

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center have developed a new method for the identification of biological agents called the Agents of Biological Origins Identification.

The ECBC signed an exclusive license agreement with Sage-N Research, Inc., a computational pyrometrics company, on July 14. The license allows the integration of ECBC's ABOID system into Sage-N Research's existing SORCERER – proteomics platform to enable cost-effective and rapid detection and identification of microorganisms.

"Remember today, July 14, 2011," David Chang, the chief executive officer at Sage-N Research Inc., said. "You are experiencing the beginning of a revolution."

The ABOID system is designed to test and identify biological agents in circumstances where commanders are unfamiliar with potential threats that await soldiers.

Ali Pervez, the vice president of marketing at Sage-N Research, Inc., said that the technology will ultimately have the ability to save thousands of lives by permitting faster responses and corrective measures to be taken against unknown and emerging biological threats.

The system currently has a database of 4,500 unique genomes of bacteria, fungi and viruses.

"This cutting-edge technology enables identification of microorganisms down to strain level in minutes, rather than hours," Charles Wick, a former ECBC Senior Scientist who led the ABOID team, said. "This proves very successful for infectious disease identification and a range of other potential application in military, medical, pharmaceutical, food and public safety areas."

ECBC is a sub-organization of the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command and is the Army's principal research and development center for biological and chemical defense technology, engineering and services.