News Feature | March 10, 2014

Roche Launches Elecsys Syphilis Immunoassay

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By Estel Grace Masangkay

Basel-based Roche announced that it has launched Elecsys Syphilis immunoassay to help detect patients infected with syphilis and help in the prevention of donating syphilis-infected blood.

Roland Diggelmann, Chief Operating Officer of the Roche Diagnostics Division, said “Every year 12 million people get infected with syphilis worldwide. To test for syphilis at the early stage is important when the disease is still curable and it is essential that blood donations are free of syphilis pathogens when given to patients. We strive for continual improvement to meet laboratories’ and blood banks’ evolving needs, expanding our menu offering and providing integrated solutions to improve testing reliability, safety and efficiency.”

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection induced by the bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. Around 36 million people are infected with syphilis around the world, with 12 million new cases reported every year. Syphilis is primarily transmitted through sexual contact, but can also be passed on through blood transfusions and between mothers and their unborn child. The disease greatly increases risk of HIV transmissions. A person exposed to HIV is two to five times more likely to be infected when syphilis sores are present.

The new diagnostic test is designed to be highly sensitive in detecting infected blood. Healthcare professionals in laboratory settings will be able to run a single test in less than 20 minutes, ensuring safe and timely supply of blood products. Roche said the diagnostic test has minimal requirements for re-tests and maximizes efficiency gains for both laboratory and patient safety. Elecsys’ high specificity facilitates clear and consistent interpretation of results regardless of the disease stage.

Elecsys is designed to complement the most comprehensive options for blood safety on the market. The launch of Elecsys strengthens Roche’s diagnostics division’s position in the serology market and expands its immunoassay portfolio in the area of infectious disease, the company said.