A must have diagnostic in every veterinary practice!
QSMs were first discovered in the late 1960s. However, only recently, have they been demonstrated to work as biomarkers for diagnostic testing through the work of Dr. Ed Goluch, Founder and CEO of QSM Diagnostics, Inc. QSM Diagnostics has created a tool capable of using this technology for point of care bacterial identification and quantification. This test can be run in your hospital on a device the size of a ROKU or Firestick device, in a timely manner.
The QSM Diagnostics instrument, called the "OTTER eQ" (named after an energetic, curious animal that utilizes tools), uses this technology. In as little as 2 minutes, you can take a sample, place it on a specific bacterial detection cartridge, and have not only the species of bacteria identified, but also determine the concentration of various related biomarkers in your sample.
The cartridges are designed to detect specific bacterial species. The first cartridge designed by QSM Diagnostics, detects the presence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in samples. The quorum sensing molecule detected by a sensor on the cartridge for this species of bacteria is called pyocyanin. Pyocyanin is a redox-active molecule. These types of molecules are characterized by their ability to transfer electrons, with reduction and oxidation going on side-by-side. Several organic molecules have this ability to transfer electrons without decomposing, which can be exploited to detect their presence via electrochemical measurements. The OTTER eQ uses specially programmed electronic components to detect and quantify the amount of pyocyanin in a sample. Importantly, the electrochemical sensing platform utilized in the OTTER eQ can be easily adapted to find other molecular biomarkers associated with other pathogenic infections. The results are often faster and potentially more reliable than those currently available from any other device.
The cartridges do not contain proteins, antibodies, or any other materials derived from cellular systems, therefore storage does not require refrigeration and there is no special handling. This device will allow a veterinarian to know immediately whether rod-shaped bacterial observed on cytology results are a Pseudomonas infection or not. Another key component of this technology is that pyocyanin is only produced by living, or bioactive, Pseudomonas bacteria. This activity cannot be discerned with in-house cytology. The presence of pyocyanin in a sample indicates to the veterinarian that the bacteria noted on cytology is alive and pathogenic.
With QSM technology, the veterinarian can determine if Pseudomonas is present, quantify the amount, and know if it is bioactive. The OTTER eQ with the Pseudomonas cartridge not only assists with the initial diagnosis, but also provides value at subsequent checks by gauging response to therapy. Now, the veterinarian can partner with the client to provide a more focused and successful treatment regimen. This can result in shorter periods of discomfort for the patient, better therapeutic response, better antibiotic stewardship, increased compliance, and client satisfaction.
As previously noted, the OTTER eQ platform is not limited to the detection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. In the near future, QSM Diagnostics will be expanding the catalog of pathogens that can be detected on each cartridge. QSM Diagnostics is developing a cartridge detecting seven bacterial species simultaneously, identifying the species commonly noted in urinary tract infections. The presence of quorum sensing molecules and the ability to detect them reliably through this technology is only now being fully explored. These advancements could potentially revolutionize our ability to detect, quickly identify, and responsibly treat infections in our patients.
There is now an in-house, fast, and accurate option available for bacterial species identification. This technological advance utilizes the scientific concept of quorum sensing. Quorum sensing molecules (QSMs), also known as autoinducers, are molecules that bacteria, and other organisms, create that are unique and specific to each species. The process of secretion and detection of QSMs between cells is called quorum sensing. Bacterial cells measure the concentration of various QSMs using receptors on their surfaces, and when the concentration goes above a set threshold, cellular functions are altered, such as up or down expression of genes. The signaling is similar to a red light/green light for various bacterial cell processes in the environment.