QIAGEN Launches First QIAplex Products for Highly Multiplexed, PCR-Based Assays

(PresseBox) ( Hilden, )
QIAGEN, the world's leading provider of sample and assay technologies for research in life sciences, applied testing, and molecular diagnostics, today announced the launch of the first assays based on its breakthrough QIAplex PCR multiplex technology. QIAplex PCR allows highly sensitive detection of multiple molecular targets in one test.

Samples that could contain multiple pathogens such as viruses and bacteria as well as other disease markers, previously had to be analyzed with assays that typically test for between one and three molecular targets. Such tests are costly, take time and in the case of negative results lead to sequential testing for one potential target after the other. QIAplex-based multiplexing has great advantages compared with single-target assays, since one or more targets can be detected in one test and from one sample. This permits sensitive and simultaneous analyses of multiple nucleic acid targets.

The newly developed and launched QIAplex panels, ResPlex™ I Panel, ResPlex™ II Panel and StaphPlex™ Panel,* allow parallel detection of more than ten bacterial and viral targets in a single reaction. The panels are launched in research use only formats.

„The striking advantages of the QIAplex panels are the simultaneous detection of a group of targets as well as early and highly sensitive recognition of multiple targets”, said Dr. Jens Dannenberg, global product manager at QIAGEN. “QIAGEN’s multiplex PCR technologies open completely new possibilities to the customer and are a perfect addition to QIAGEN’s product portfolio of preanalytical products and real-time PCR assays.”

ResPlex I and ResPlex II Panels detect respiratory bacterial and viral nucleic acids for research applications. The ResPlex I Panel enables the detection of most relevant respiratory bacterial DNA. This includes DNA specific for Legionella pneumophila, Chlamydia pneumoniae, or Mycoplasma pneumoniae, bacteria that cause atypical pneumonia. Furthermore, the ResPlex I Panel detects DNA specific for S. pneumoniae, H. influenzae and N. meningitidis. The ResPlex II Panel was developed for the detection of respiratory viral RNA from influenza and parainfluenza viruses, RSV, metapneumovirus, and rhinoviruses.

The StaphPlex Panel allows identification of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) DNA for research applications. MRSA represents the most common nosocomial infection and describes bacterial strains resistant to antibiotics. In some hospitals up to 30% of hospital-acquired infections are due to MRSA. The StaphPlex Panel also differentiates between two forms, the community-acquired CA-MRSA and hospital-acquired HA-MRSA.

All QIAplex panels share a proprietary, PCR-based multiplex amplification technology that permits high analytical sensitivity and specificity. This is of particular importance in the area of infectious disease research. The technology can be used in combination with various, widely used detection platforms such as arrays, capillary electrophoresis and bead-based detection systems. The now launched QIAplex products have been designed for use on Luminex® detection platforms and are optimized for use with QIAGEN’s LiquiChip® 200 Workstation*.

QIAGEN is today recognized as a leading company in the area of molecular diagnostics. In late 2006, QIAGEN also acquired Genaco Biomedical Products, an early-stage company applying its proprietary PCR-based multiplexing technology to develop molecular differential detection. QIAGEN is in the process of compiling a FDA pre-market submission for certain QIAplex products, including one panel intended to confirm the presence and type of H5N1 avian influenza A strain in respiratory specimens.

The technology used in QIAplex: The multiplex molecular differential detection is mediated by a proprietary amplification technology based on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) involving two pairs of specific primers per target. This allows an initial enrichment of target-specific nucleic acids. SuperPrimers are used to facilitate efficient amplification of all targets. Relative concentrations of all primers within a QIAplex panel optimize the amplification of target nucleic acids.

The readout following the QIAplex assay can be performed on the LiquiChip 200 Workstation through hybridization to suspension arrays (xMAP® technology, Luminex). Specifically developed QIAplex MDD Software enables convenient research data evaluation.
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