Integration of Technology Enables Researchers to Rapidly, Accurately Track Bacterial Infection and Contamination


HOUSTON and PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Bacterial BarCodes, Inc. and Agilent Technologies Inc. today announced a value-added-reseller agreement under which Bacterial BarCodes will market the Agilent 2100 bioanalyzer as a key component of Bacterial BarCodes' DiversiLab System. The DiversiLab System enables users in clinical epidemiology, food safety and pharmaceutical research to rapidly and accurately track the source and spread of a bacterial infection or contamination.

Bacterial BarCodes has developed a repetitive sequence-based polymerase chain reaction (rep-PCR)-based DNA fingerprinting technology that, under this agreement, will be combined with the Agilent 2100 bioanalyzer and Caliper Technologies' LabChips and reagents to create the DiversiLab System.

The Agilent 2100 bioanalyzer is the market-leading microfluidics-based system for analyzing RNA, DNA, proteins and cell fluorescence. It performs automated quality control, sizing and quantification of nucleic acids or proteins, and simple flow cytometric analyses, all on one platform.

"Rep-PCR is quickly becoming the preferred method for microbial typing because of its ease of use, accuracy and low setup and per-test cost. But traditional methods for detecting and analyzing rep-PCR DNA fingerprints lack the reproducibility and speed necessary for fast and accurate analysis," said David McWilliams, chief executive officer of Bacterial BarCodes. "The Agilent 2100 bioanalyzer provides our DiversiLab System with a standardized, automated platform for sample analysis, enabling our customers to quickly and effectively respond to a microbial outbreak."

Integrating rep-PCR technology, proprietary software and the Agilent 2100 bioanalyzer platform, the DiversiLab system enables accurate identification of bacterial strains in as little as four hours. Traditional culture and susceptibility assays can take up to seven days, potentially reducing the effectiveness of infection control measures.

"With the broad acceptance of the Agilent 2100 bioanalyzer platform, we are seeking to work with innovative companies such as Bacterial BarCodes with the proprietary technology to enable novel applications that open up new market segments," said Karlheinz Bruederle, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Pharmaceutical Solutions.

The DiversiLab System uses rep-PCR technology automated through a microfluidics device to provide DNA fingerprints that can accurately distinguish the most clinically relevant bacterial pathogens at the strain level. rep-PCR is a technique for identifying bacteria strains by examining the strain-specific patterns or fingerprints obtained from PCR amplification targeting repetitive DNA sequences in the bacterial genome. Anecdotal information about each strain is linked to the fingerprint and stored in a library, allowing comparison with other characterized strains.

Agilent Technologies Inc. is a global technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. Bacterial BarCodes, Inc. was formed in May 1999 to capitalize on a unique molecular identification and DNA fingerprinting technology known as rep-PCR (Repetitive Sequence-Based Polymerase Chain Reaction).

Source: Bacterial BarCodes, Inc.

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