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Hubbard biotech company scores breakthrough in Strep test


Published: Mon, August 8, 2011 @ 12:03 a.m.

By Karl Henkel

khenkel@vindy.com

HUBBARD

A Mahoning Valley biotechnology company with a bacteria-detecting breakthrough is one step closer to Food and Drug Administration approval.

Hubbard-based NanoLogix announced today that The American Journal of Perinatology published a peer-review paper from The Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at University of Texas Health Science Center.

The results, based on a 300-person study, back the company’s findings of a quick detection of Group B Streptococcus, or Strep B.

Strep B is a bacterial infection that affects 3 in 10 pregnant women, according to the study, and can be passed on to a newborn through delivery and cause meningitis, pneumonia and stillbirth.

Antibiotic treatment during labor can protect the baby, but doctors are forced to use a broad spectrum of antibiotics, NanoLogix CEO Bret Barnhizer told The Vindicator.

But with NanoLogix’s expedited petri-dish test, Strep B can be detected in four to six hours, enough time for doctors to determine the strain of bacteria and correct antibiotic treatment.

Normal tests can take 24 to 36 hours, Barnhizer said.

Unlike standard petri dishes, NanoLogix’s BioNanoPore kits put microorganisms on a membrane that doesn’t allow fluid to pass through to the cells. The nutrient solution sandwiches the membrane, and the membrane grows.

The membrane is put on a staining solution that shows growth before it can be seen in a standard petri dish.

The published paper calls NanoLogix’s find “easy to use” and “requires minimal additional equipment” other than an incubator.


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