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ViraCor launches new enterovirus test

ViraCor Laboratories : 02 June, 2008  (New Product)
ViraCor Laboratories, a specialty molecular diagnostic reference laboratory that provides 24-hour turnaround for all laboratory tests, has launched a new enterovirus test that quickly pinpoints the virus, which impacts 10 to 15 million Americans each year.
Developed by ViraCor, the molecular test quickly and accurately detects the more than 70 known strains of enterovirus, giving physicians the information they need to treat patients appropriately. The test also allows them to determine and track the severity of an infection by measuring a patient’s viral load.

“Enterovirus impacts millions of Americans each year, so we at ViraCor are very proud to give physicians the ability to get accurate test results in less than 24 hours,” said Steve Kleiboeker, PhD and chief scientific officer of ViraCor Laboratories. “Too often, physicians are in the dark about the true cause of an infection and, as a result, may prescribe antibiotics that, in the end, are not effective. Our enterovirus testing service gives doctors the results they need for effective patient management.”

The Centers for Disease Control estimates that enteroviruses are responsible for approximately 10 to 15 million infections a year in the USA, making them the second leading cause of viral infection in humans after the rhinoviruses, which cause the common cold. There are more than 70 known strains of the virus, which can cause a range of minor to life-threatening illnesses, including aseptic (viral) meningitis, myocarditis, and encephalitis. People may become infected by enterovirus through direct contact with an infected person’s saliva, mucus or other bodily secretions, or by touching contaminated surfaces or objects, such as counters, telephones or doorknobs.

Children and patients with compromised immune systems are at a particular risk for enterovirus infection because their bodies cannot readily fight the virus. Since many of the doctors with whom ViraCor serves treat patients with compromised immune systems, enterovirus testing is an important addition to the company’s test menu. ViraCor partners with leading transplant programmes nationwide in the USA, including two-thirds of all US paediatric transplant hospitals.

“ViraCor developed this test at the request of our physician customers who were seeking a way to pinpoint enterovirus infections as quickly as possible,” said John Martin, president of ViraCor. “Fast, accurate results are the hallmark of what ViraCor does best. We offer the most specific and sensitive diagnostic tests available and our turnaround time is unparalleled, as we deliver the majority of our results in just 8 hours, or by 5:00 p.m. client time, with all results available in less than 24 hours. This commitment to accuracy and speed helps the doctors we serve provide better care to their patients and save lives. This is the core of why we do what we do.”

The enterovirus test is one of 21 novel infectious disease tests ViraCor provides to healthcare professionals who care for patients with compromised immune systems, including adults and children who are undergoing transplants or battling cancer. Other tests the company offers include quantitative molecular diagnostic tests for BK Virus (BKV), JC Virus (JCV), Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV), and Cytomegalovirus (CMV).

In January 2008, ViraCor became the first national clinical reference laboratory in the USA to offer the Luminex xTAG Respiratory Viral Panel (RVP), which detects the presence of the 12 viruses and subtypes that are responsible for 85 percent of respiratory viral infections.
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