SAN DIEGO, California, December 20 /PRNewswire/ --

- First Molecular Test to Simultaneously Identify Staphylococcus aureus and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus from Nasal and Wound Specimens

BD Diagnostics, a segment of BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) (NYSE: BDX), announced today the European launch of the BD GeneOhm(TM) StaphSR assay for nasal and wound specimens as a CE marked product under the European In Vitro Diagnostics Directive. This is the first assay for the rapid and simultaneous identification and differentiation of Staphylococcus aureus (SA) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) directly from nasal and wound specimens. It was CE marked for positive blood cultures earlier in the year. This assay helps physicians rapidly administer the right antimicrobial treatment for patients with wounds infected with SA or MRSA. It will also allow patients colonized with SA or MRSA to be decolonized and receive appropriate prophylactic antibiotics prior to surgery.

"Preoperative screening for nasal carriage of Staphylococus aureus and subsequent treatment of carriers with mupirocin nasal ointment is associated with significant reduction in the postoperative Staphylococcus aureus infection rate by more than 50 percent," said Jan Kluytmans, MD, Consultant Microbiologist, Amphia Hospital Breda/Oosterhout, and Professor of Medical Microbiology and Infection Control, VUmc, Amsterdam.

"Healthcare workers around the world are diligently attempting to control transmission and infection caused by multidrug-resistant organisms, such as MRSA," said Vince Forlenza, Executive Vice President, BD. "CE marking for all three specimen claims for the BD GeneOhm StaphSR assay reflects BD's commitment to providing high-quality diagnostic tests in the battle against staphylococcal infections."

A recent study reported in the Journal of American Medical Association estimates that 94,360 patients acquire an invasive MRSA infection each year, leading to an estimated 18,650 deaths in the United States. MRSA has become the most common cause of skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs), often presenting as a "spider bite," but has also been associated with sepsis and necrotizing pneumonia.

Recent studies have shown a dramatic increase in patients suffering from SSTIs, with SA found to be the causative pathogen in 76 percent of cases. Of these SA isolates, 78 percent were MRSA. Although the vast majority of patients with MRSA SSTIs in the studies received empirical antimicrobial therapy, more than half of the time the prescribed agent was not active against MRSA.

The BD GeneOhm StaphSR assay is currently pending FDA clearance for various specimen types. BD is also developing rapid molecular tests for the detection of two other organisms that cause severe healthcare-associated infections. These tests will identify the vanA and vanB genes associated with vancomycin-resistant enterococci and the toxin gene associated with Clostridium difficile.

About BD

BD, a leading global medical technology company that manufactures and sells medical devices, instrument systems and reagents, is dedicated to improving people's health throughout the world. BD is focused on improving drug therapy, enhancing the quality and speed of diagnosing infectious diseases, and advancing research and discovery of new drugs and vaccines. The Company's capabilities are instrumental in combating many of the world's most pressing diseases. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, BD employs approximately 28,000 people in approximately 50 countries throughout the world. The Company serves healthcare institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, industry and the general public. For more information, please visit

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Barbara Kalavik of BD Public Relations, +1-201-847-4209,