ViraCor Laboratories Launches Comprehensive Testing for Fungal Infections
KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Oct. 1, 2008 – ViraCor Laboratories, a specialty molecular diagnostic reference laboratory that provides same day turnaround for laboratory tests, today announced the launch of a comprehensive mycology, or fungus, testing service that will allow the company to quickly detect potentially deadly fungal infections in patients. Fast diagnosis of fungal infections can significantly improve patient outcomes and prevent the overuse of costly, toxic antifungal therapy.
As part of this new testing service, ViraCor has begun offering two tests – Platelia™ Aspergillus EIA and Fungitell® β-D Glucan – that together provide the most comprehensive fungal infection testing available. Both tests have been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“Fungal infections are emerging as a major cause of sickness and death among transplant and immunocompromised patients. Because these infections progress so rapidly, fast, accurate diagnosis is critical to patient health,” said Steve Kleiboeker, PhD and Chief Scientific Officer of ViraCor Laboratories. “Currently, physicians administer highly toxic antifungal therapy, which can be expensive and dangerous, as a precautionary measure in many patients because symptoms of fungal infections are so vague. With fast turnaround of accurate test results from ViraCor, doctors have the information they need to treat patients correctly, reducing the inappropriate use of drugs, and ultimately saving lives.”
Platelia Aspergillus EIA, which will be marketed as Aspergillus Galactomannan EIA by ViraCor, tests for Invasive Aspergillosis, one of the most serious fungal infections. It has mortality rates reaching 80-100 percent in adults and 75 percent in children with compromised immune systems. Studies have shown that testing with Aspergillus Galactomannan EIA can detect Aspergillus infection up to 10 days earlier than traditional testing methods such as cell culture.
Fungitell β-D Glucan is the only FDA-cleared test for Candida, a yeast that can act as an opportunistic pathogen in patients with compromised immune systems and lead to Invasive Candidiasis. In addition to Candida, the test quickly and accurately detects 9 other pathogens:
- Coccidioides immitis
- Histoplasma capsulatum
- Pneumocystis jiroveci
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae
- Sporothrix schenckii
To achieve the most effective fungal infection monitoring and ensure the most accurate diagnosis, ViraCor recommends that Aspergillus Galactomannan EIA and Fungitell β-D Glucan be used together. As recommended by the manufacturers of the tests, high-risk patients should be monitored two to three times per week.
”Many of the fungi in these tests can be found in nature and healthy humans can breathe them in with very little risk of infection. However, for patients with compromised immune systems, who cannot readily fight disease, these fungi can be deadly,” said John Martin, President of ViraCor. “Since many of the doctors whom ViraCor serves treat patients with compromised immune systems, fungal infection testing is an important addition to our test menu. We are committed to providing clinically relevant tests and unmatched turnaround time to our customers so they can in turn provide better care to their patients. This has been our mission since our founding and it is the core of what we do.”
ViraCor is one of only two national clinical reference laboratories in the nation that run the Fungitell β-D Glucan test. The company is the only laboratory to guarantee same day turnaround of Aspergillus Galactomannan EIA and Fungitell β-D Glucan test results.
ViraCor offers a range of complex, quantitative molecular diagnostic tests. In addition to Aspergillus Galactomannan EIA and Fungitell β-D Glucan, the company offers tests for infectious diseases including BK Virus (BKV), JC Virus (JCV), Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), and Cytomegalovirus (CMV).
About ViraCor Laboratories
ViraCor Laboratories is a leading molecular diagnostic and research laboratory dedicated to providing innovative diagnostic testing to critical care patients and those with compromised immune systems, with expertise in infectious diseases, including viruses, protozoa and fungi. The company set the standard for the diagnostic industry by turning all patient results around in less than 24 hours, unlike traditional lab results which can take three days to several weeks. The company is a trusted partner of transplant hospitals nationwide, including two-thirds of all pediatric transplant hospitals.