Zenosense, and co-developer partner, Sgenia Group, Madrid, are engaged in the design and creation of a cost-effective methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) detector system vital to battling what has been called a multi-billion problem. The Sgenia Group has established Zenon Biosystem, a dedicated subsidiary contracted to develop the MRSA device for Zenosense. The product is expected to appeal to distributor channels and end users due to increasing demand for an economical detection solution.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is caused by a strain of staph bacteria that has become resistant to the antibiotics used to treat ordinary staph infections. Most MRSA infections occur in people who have been in hospitals or other health care environments, such as nursing homes and dialysis centers. When it occurs in these settings, it is known as health care-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). HA-MRSA infections typically are associated with invasive procedures or devices, such as surgeries, intravenous tubing or artificial joints.
Another type of MRSA infection has occurred in the wider community of healthy people. This form, referred to as community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA), often surfaces as a skin boil. It’s spread by skin-to-skin contact. At-risk populations are groups such as high school wrestlers, child care workers and people who live in crowded conditions.
MRSA can be treated or avoided altogether, but the key is timely identification. Known as a superbug, the infection brings with it a substantial financial price tag for private and public health care systems across the country and elsewhere however early detection is necessary for protective measures to be put into place.
An “electronic nose” device currently exists to detect bacteria from cultures. However, these devices are physically bulky and cost prohibitive to install on larger scales. There is no cost-effective system available for detecting MRSA infection early in the patient or in environments where it is known to be contracted. ZENO’s plan is to situate a detector on a special sensor that Sgenia has already developed. Once installed, it can detect the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) signature emitted by MRSA. The MRSA VOC signature is only emitted when the bacteria has infected and expressed itself as a disease in the patient, and can be detected prior to the patient developing symptoms, which would aid in earlier intervention.
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