WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Today, at the American
Society for Microbiology Conference on Biodefense and Emerging
Diseases, scientists from Abbott Molecular presented data showing
the unique power of the company’s Ibis technology to identify and
further characterize unknown disease-causing pathogens to help aid
in the bioforensic analysis of pandemic outbreaks.
In a presentation at the conference, Tim Motley, principal
scientist, Ibis Biosciences, a subsidiary of Abbott (NYSE:
ABT), reported on genotypic characterization of Yersina
pestis after a severe outbreak of an unknown disease in
Afghanistan’s Nimorz Province in December 2007. Eighty-three
people experienced severe fever, vomiting and diarrhea, and 17
died. All had consumed camel meat. Due to the
gastrointestinal symptoms and disease severity, anthrax was
Blood from a patient sample and several camel tissue specimens
were analyzed using the Ibis T5000 biosensor, a precursor to the
PLEX-ID™ system developed and marketed by Abbott. The
analysis showed both the blood and camel tissue specimens tested
positive for Yersina pestis, the causative agent for plague.
This was the first reported case of plague in Afghanistan.
Other test methods, including culture, had failed to identify
the causative organism.
“With the PLEX-ID technology, we were able to genetically
characterize the strain, identify its unique genetic structure and
develop a microbial forensic marker that could be used to identify
this strain should future outbreaks occur,” said Motley. He
added that the ability of PLEX-ID to combine polymerase chain
reaction (PCR) and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry allows
laboratories to identify an unknown organism and determine its
Motley explained that the Afghanistan case show