infectious disease

Building on the Knowledge Base of Developer Community, LuminexPLORE Lab Offers Custom Insights: Jackie Surls, Director

There are some technologies that become so ubiquitous in biomedical research that their name turns synonymous with their use. This has been the case for the Luminex xMAP platform and multiple biomarker analysis. The product has been applied in just about every area of life sciences including infectious disease, STD, organ transplant rejection, vaccine development, cancer research, immunodeficiency, animal testing, agriculture, and others. (xMAP is a research use only product and not for use in diagnostic procedures.)

To help this extended community benefit from a broad swath of assay development knowledge, Luminex has set up what they’re calling LumineXPLORE Lab, offering custom assay development. Today, director Jackie Surls takes us on a podcast journey through the lab and shares insight into the many applications of this enduring technology.

Hallelujah! A Universal Flu Preventative and Therapy with Jeff Stein, Cidara

As another summer winds down, another flu season approaches. Yuuuk. When will we be able to stop living in fear of that crowded plane flight in winter months or waking up congested and wondering . . . dreading, “am I coming down with a cold?”

Yes, we get that annual flu vaccine shot, but each year we still get the bug. Until now, a real universal flu vaccine has eluded drug makers, and having the flu goes on being just part of life. But it doesn't have to be.

Today we talk with a company who is close to not a universal flu vaccine, but what they call a universal preventative.

Jeff Stein is the CEO of Cidara Therapeutics. Their technology is an immuno therapy which not only prevents all flus, but is a therapy as well in case you've already caught a bug.

Finally! Who isn’t rooting for this company?!

The New World of Infectious Disease Diagnosis: Out in the Field with David Hong of Karius

A one month old baby is admitted to a hospital with fever. This is cause for serious alarm. The child is put on broad spectrum antibiotics. The infected area is drained and a culture run to try to identify the pathogen. The cultures come back negative, the pathogen not identified.

This is what was happening in a case that our guest David Hong, the VP of Medical Affairs at Karius, talks about at the outset of today’s interview. But because Karius uses the patient’s blood and new testing based on next generation sequencing, they are able to discover cell free remnants of the pathogen and identify the organism causing the baby’s infection. This diagnosis then allowed the doctors to change to a targeted treatment, a more narrow antibiotic.

This story exemplifies the revolution going on in the infectious disease space as a result of new sequencing based tests. The folks at Karius call them liquid biopsies for infections. Today David shares with us the kinds of hard-to-diagnosis cases that are coming to them from hospitals around the country. He also explains how better diagnosis is impacting the main issue on the minds of those in infectious disease today: antibiotic resistance.

How quickly can Karius get a new test out to market? How much discovery do they do for new pathogens? And just what are the possibilities here moving forward into 2019?


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