Biological weapons include any pathogen (bacterium, virus or other disease-causing organism) or biotoxin that can be used to kill, seriously injure or incapacitate an adversary. Biological weapons are characterized by low visibility, high lethality, broad accessibility, and relatively easy delivery. The potential spectrum of bioterrorism ranges from hoaxes and use of non-mass casualty agents by individuals or small groups in small scale targeted attacks to state-sponsored terrorism that employs biological weapons of mass destruction.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) separates bioterrorism agents into 3 categories, based on the ease of spread and severity of illness caused. Category A biological threats are those with the highest risk and require special action for public health preparedness. These agents are easily spread or transmitted person-to-person and have high death rates. They are potential major public health threats as they can cause wide spread panic and social disruption.1
Bacillus anthracis, Francisellatularensis, Yersinia pestis and Variola virus are four category A agents most likely to be employed in a bioterrorism attack. Exposure to these agents will result in anthrax, tularemia, plague and smallpox respectively, diseases which are highly fatal and infectious.
Considering the devastating effect on public health and economy of any bioterrorism attack, rapid identification of the presence of these deadly bioagents is therefore of absolutely priority. If such an event has been confirmed as taken place, correct and suitable measures can be effectively implemented to minimize and contain the effects of the attack.
To meet this need, Veredus offers a new solution: VereThreat™. This Lab-On-Chip application allows for rapid detection, differentiation and identification of selected Category A biological agents and ensures that critical test results are obtained quickly and accurately for rapid and appropriate countermeasures to be implemented.
VereThreat™ is a fast diagnostic test using the VerePLEX™ Biosystem Lab-on-Chip platform to simultaneously identify and differentiate the four potential bioagents (Bacillus anthracis, Francisellatularensis, Yersinia pestis and Variola virus) based on selected target genes. VereThreat™ consists of a silicon chip that integrates multiplex PCR-based DNA amplification and a high-grade quality customized microarray to achieve fast and accurate detection of the bioagents.
For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.
Detects four selected Category A biological agents Multiple probes (with duplicates) for:
- Bacillus anthracis
- Francisella tularensis
- Yersinia pestis
- Variola virus
Performance characteristics based on an independent evaluation by Battelle Memorial Institute:
Each chip has the following controls to ensure the reliability of results:
Sample Types: Air, water, soil and food
- Fast turnaround time – multiple results in less than 3 hours versus 2 days
or more for culture-based testing
- Rapid detection for first responders to implement appropriate measures quickly
- Tests for four major Category A bioagents in a single assay
- The VerePLEX™ Biosystem is designed to be portable so that first responders can test at the point of need for biothreat investigations
- Easy to use
- The simple workflow allows for minimally trained or non-scientific personnel to run tests
- Multiplex amplification reactions
- Multiple probes per target ensures reliable detection of subtypes in every test
- Small sample volume requirement
- Fast and programmable temperature ramp rate
- Scalable for high throughput
- PCR yield is comparable to standard thermal cyclers
- 40% faster than conventional thermal cyclers
- Functional validation of PCR is provided by an internal positive control
- Functional validation of hybridization for each assay is provided by an internal positive hybridization control
- Proprietary microfluidic interface: contact surfaces are biocompatible and do not inhibit the PCR reaction
- Short time required for fluidic operations