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Modular, Cost-Efficient System Accelerates Traditional AST Turnaround Times by Up To One Day

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 13 Jun 2023
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Image: The eQUANT system has been submitted to FDA for 510(k) clearance (Photo courtesy of Avails Medical)
Image: The eQUANT system has been submitted to FDA for 510(k) clearance (Photo courtesy of Avails Medical)

The rising global prevalence of superbugs and increasing antimicrobial resistance pose a significant public health threat. Rapid diagnostics in clinical laboratories can play a crucial role in tackling this pressing issue. Now, a new system for the rapid detection and quantification of pathogens leverages digital biosensors that react to the small metabolic byproducts generated by microorganisms, allowing for growth detection and precise pathogen quantification. The system can empower physicians to shift from expensive empiric, broad-spectrum antibiotics to a more affordable, effective treatment, becoming a real game changer for patients.

The eQUANT system from Avails Medical (Menlo Park, CA, USA) offers a standardized inoculum (equivalent to 0.5 McFarland) directly from a positive blood culture. Designed to work in tandem with traditional automated antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST) systems and disk diffusion, it accelerates routine AST turnaround times by approximately a day. The eQUANT system, based on a compact single-module instrument, incorporates a cuvette equipped with an electrical sensor that is inoculated with a diluted sample of positive blood culture. It continuously monitors the changes in the metabolic byproducts of microorganisms in real-time, providing accurate, organism-specific 0.5 McFarland suspensions that are compatible with standard AST methods, including disk diffusion.

The eQUANT system offers a small footprint, user-friendly interface, and cost-effectiveness, making it suitable for widespread adoption. It has been engineered to maximize benchtop space in the clinical laboratory, accommodating the use of single or multiple units for processing all positive blood cultures in small to large microbiology labs. A pilot study conducted earlier at two internationally recognized clinical laboratories demonstrated a >98% correlation between the eQUANT system and the subculture gold standard. Avails Medical has submitted the eQUANT system for FDA 510(k) clearance.

"We are delighted to announce the important company milestone of FDA submission of the highly anticipated eQUANT system"' said Dr. Knopfmacher, CEO of Avails Medical. "This is an important first step towards commercializing eQUANT in the U.S. and other countries. eQUANT can provide any clinical laboratory with a simple and powerful tool that is designed to fit seamlessly into the routine clinical laboratory's workflow, accelerating traditional AST turnaround times by up to one day."

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