LexaGene Develops Test for Deadly Mosquito-borne EEE Virus
Following increased incidence of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in the U.S., LexaGene expands the prototype’s ability to detect and identify RNA-based viruses
BEVERLY, Mass. – Sep 17,2019 – LexaGene Holdings Inc. (OTCQB: LXXGF; TSX-V: LXG) (the “Company”), a biotechnology company that develops genetic analyzers that can rapidly detect pathogens and other molecular markers, announced today the development of a test for detection of the deadly, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus on its LX technology platform.
EEE virus can be transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito, and has recently caused fatal infections in Michigan, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The virus is particularly serious for both children and the elderly, and can lead to death in approximately 30% of infected individuals.1
Northeastern states typically test in excess of 15,000 samples per year for EEE. This year, Massachusetts state testing labs alone have processed thousands of samples, of which, more than 400 mosquito samples were found to be positive for the presence of EEE virus.2
Previously, LexaGene’s technology was only able to detect DNA-based pathogens. The Company has recently modified the analyzer also to detect pathogens that have RNA-based genomes. Examples of pathogens that have RNA-based genomes include EEE and other mosquito-borne viruses such as West Nile, Chikungunya and Zika viruses, as well as other deadly pathogens such as influenza and Ebola. Another benefit of the LX Analyzer is its ability to screen for multiple pathogens at once, which is critical for carrying out successful screening programs of mosquito populations for vector-borne viruses.
Dr. Jack Regan, LexaGene’s CEO and Founder states, “Testing mosquitoes for the presence of human pathogens is an integral part of surveillance activities. We have now used our LX Analyzer to successfully amplify the EEE virus sequence from mosquito RNA samples spiked with EEE RNA. Our technology is automated and designed to reduce hands-on processing time, which is a benefit to molecular testing laboratories. We are pursuing this work to demonstrate that LexaGene’s technology can be part of the solution for bolstering surveillance efforts intended to determine when mosquito abatement programs should be started to minimize the number of human cases.”
LexaGene welcomes members of the public, including businesses and testing laboratories to send mosquitoes to their laboratory for testing. Contact LexaGene for details, some conditions apply.
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About LexaGene Holdings Inc.
LexaGene is a biotechnology company that develops genetic analyzers for pathogen detection and other molecular markers for on-site rapid testing in veterinary diagnostics, food safety and for use in open-access markets such as clinical research, agricultural testing and biodefense. End-users simply need to collect a sample, load it onto the instrument with a sample preparation cartridge, enter sample ID, and press ‘go’. The LX Analyzer delivers excellent sensitivity, specificity, and breadth of detection and can process multiple samples at a time, in an on-demand fashion, returning results in about 1 hour. The unique open-access feature is designed for custom testing so that end-users can load their own real-time PCR assays onto the instrument to target any genetic target of interest.
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