The smaller footprint BAX System X5 handles 32 samples compared to the 96-sample capability of the Q7 platform for customers who want to use the technology with smaller testing volumes.
The BAX System X5 start-up package includes the instrument, a laptop computer pre-loaded with the software, the DuPont Thermal Block for automated sample preparation and required accessories to perform the BAX System method.
BAX System X5 PCR assays and enrichment media are sold separately.
PCR assays include all requisite PCR primers, polymerase and nucleotides as a tablet in sealed PCR tubes to remove the need for reagent preparation, said the firm.
Smaller testing volumes
Food companies, contract testing labs and government agencies can use it to perform pathogen testing that best suits volume, lab space and financial requirements, said Alain Minelli, DuPont Diagnostics marketing manager.
“While many large-scale customers benefit from having the full 96-sample capacity of the BAX System Q7 instrument, data has shown that over 80% of all food manufacturers perform fewer than 7,000 pathogen tests per year, or about 32 tests per day.
“Now, these customers who perform lower volumes of testing can use the BAX System X5 instrument to enjoy the benefits of fast, accurate PCR-based pathogen testing in a format that matches their testing volume, laboratory space and financial requirements.”
DuPont said the data referenced above came from a ‘third-party market research survey earlier this year’.
The BAX System X5 platform will be available for testing food and environmental samples for Salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, Listeria species and L. monocytogenes.
It will provide next-day results for most sample types after enrichment and about 3.5 hours of automated processing in the BAX System X5 instrument.
BAX System Q7 instruments are sold under licensing arrangement with Applied Biosystems for food testing – this does not apply for the BAX System X5.
Additional PCR assays
Further development will expand the platform to include additional PCR assays.
Validation studies will certify the system by the AOAC Research Institute and other third-party validation organizations.
Further PCR assays for the BAX System X5 instrument will be developed and commercialized based on customer and market needs.
When asked about PCR versus technologies such as whole genome sequencing, Minelli said PCR remains top.
“Third-party market research has shown that PCR technology maintains the highest utility score for pathogen detection by a wide margin, with isothermal and antibody methods ranked as second and third choices, respectively.
“This research demonstrates that pathogen testing using PCR technology is the most preferred option among food companies and service laboratories for its speed, sensitivity, accuracy and reliability.
“WGS, on the other hand, is not yet considered a readily available option for pathogen detection, as it is still a complex, time-consuming and expensive process.”