Avails receives additional CARB-X funding for rapid susceptibility test
Diagnostics company Avails Medical announced today that it has received an additional $1.7 million in funding from CARB-X (the Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator) to continue developing a rapid electronic antibiotic susceptibility test (AST).
Company officials say the eAST system, which shortens the time to antibiotic susceptibility results from several days to an average of 5 hours, will enable healthcare providers to determine faster the best antibiotic treatment for patients with severe bloodstream infections. The system uses electronic biosensors that fit onto commercially available AST panels.
"Every hour counts for a patient with sepsis," Eszter Deak, PhD, director of scientific and medical affairs for Avails Medical, said in a company press release. "Avails' unique rapid eAST technology presents a meaningful opportunity to improve patient care by shortening the time to effective antibiotics at an affordable cost."
Avails, of Menlo Park, California, originally received $2.5 million in funding from CARB-X in February 2021.
Sep 1 Avails Medical press release
Online retailer a source of turtles in Salmonella outbreak, CDC says
In an update yesterday on a Salmonella Stanley outbreak tied to small turtles, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said investigators have identified an online retailer as a source of the illnesses. Five patients reported buying turtles from myturtlestore.com before they got sick.
Also, officials reported 6 more infections and 3 more affected states, raising the outbreak total to 21 cases from 14 states. Eight people were hospitalized. The latest illness onset is Jul 15. Ages range from less than 1 year to 75 years, with a median of 14 years old.
The Florida Department of Health on Jul 20 collected samples from the myturtlestore.com facility, and whole-genome sequencing showed that the samples from the turtles are closely related to the strain from sick people. Sequencing bacteria from patients, turtles, and turtle environments didn't predict any resistance to antibiotics.
Small turtles have been linked to several Salmonella outbreaks in the past, and federal law bans their sale. However, they can sometimes be found online or at other outlets. The CDC has urged people in risk groups, such as those with underlying health conditions and families with young children, to avoid having turtles for pets.
Aug 31 CDC outbreak update