The detection of bacteria, fungi and parasites is an indispensable step in the diagnosis and treatment of infections, and also in the understanding of infectious disease
Eurofins Biomnis detects and identifies human pathogens, especially those which require experience and expertise to culture. Many of the techniques are based on the inspection and culture of suspect bacteria, followed up with identification by means of biochemical, enzymatic and serological tests (with computer assistance when necessary). Isolation and identification are followed by antibiotic sensitivity testing and Minimum Inhibitory Concentration determination, essential steps towards the prescription of an effective course of treatment.
Finally, the laboratory can detect both European and exotic fungi, and identify common human intestinal, blood and pulmonary parasites.
Diagnosing mycobacterial infections is a priority at our French laboratory and we are able to perform all of the most powerful techniques in this area (direct inspection, culture, PCR, Quantiferon®)
The Bacteriology-Parasitology Laboratory is staffed with experienced technologists, and managed by 2 microbiologists. The analyses performed therein play important roles in the overall care of patients’ health and well-being including diagnosis, therapeutic monitoring, detection of multi-resistant bacteria, production of sterility-monitoring devices implanted in immuno-compromised patients, detection of microorganisms in transfusion blood bags, and the performance of analyses subject to prefectural approval.
With regards to Clostridium difficile, our bacteriology department is capable of performing the entire range of analyses recommended by companies who specialise in the latest, biological-diagnostic algorithms. In addition to the more traditional techniques based on cultures and susceptibility tests, we also use PCR techniques for the detection and identification of resistance genes in bacteria that are difficult to cultivate (Helicobacter pylori). In addition, we can perform respiratory tests, in conjunction with 13C-marked urine, to diagnose the in vivo presence of Helicobacter pylori infections. This technique is widely-used today, especially to monitor and ensure eradication of various diseases.
Thanks to molecular biology, the detection of multi-resistant enterobacteria, which can carry carbapenemases, can be completed within a few hours, as opposed to the many days required by the more traditional techniques.
Other bacteriology and mycology analyses (considered to be “reference techniques”) are subcontracted to St-Etienne Public Hospital and are performed with the care and quality expected of hospital centres.
In parallel, our laboratory has recognised experience in the production of cellular cultures which we use to employ traditional virology techniques such as virus isolation and identification, and seroneutralisation. These tests are still considered to be the standard reference, especially for the diagnosis of herpes.
In terms of volume and expertise, our mycobacteria laboratory is the top private laboratory in France. For the diagnosis of tuberculosis, we use the most-sensitive, direct-PCR techniques available, whereby we can directly detect the presence of the mycobacteria tuberculous complex in less than 2 hours. We use molecular biology techniques for the identification of mycobacteria, identification via DNA-DNA hybridisation, as well as for the detection of mutations that modify the effectiveness of rifampicin and isoniazid. For cultures, antibiograms and CMIs, we use the latest, state-of-the-art techniques (cultures in liquid media with automatic, growth-detection, and antibiograms in a liquid media).
We can also perform the QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus® test (a test used to evaluate the production of interferon-gamma or Interferon-Gamma Release Assay (IGRA)), for the diagnosis of latent tuberculosis.
A large part of our activity involves the detection, quantification and, classification of viruses with DNA or RNA that are difficult, or currently impossible, to cultivate (HIV, hepatitis B and C viruses, papillomavirus, CMV, EBV, parvovirus, etc.). Real-time PCR methods are used because they are highly effective but also because they reduce turn-around time. The use of automation and electronic-processing, from the extraction of samples through to the final results, improves the reproducibility and accuracy of those results.
We also perform extremely specialised PCRs which greatly helps in the detection of micro-organisms that are hard, or currently impossible, to cultivate: Treponema pallidum, Mycoplasma genitalium, Haemophilus ducreyi, Kingella kingae, Tropheryma whiplei, Bartonella spp and slow-growth cultures such as Legionella pneumophila.
In order to make up for the lack of sensitivity of the more traditional diagnosis techniques, we developed Pnemocystis jirovecii and Clostridium difficile PCRs.
For epidemics, we developed an A H1N1 influenza PCR, and, more recently, PCRs for chikungunya and dengue.
In addition, we have developed PCRs used to diagnose less-common viral infections seen in immuno-compromised patients, including JC, BK, Human Herpes virus 6, HHV 7, and HHV8 PCRs.
Our scientific resources
Bacteriology-Parasitology/Viral Culture Mycology
Infectious Disease Molecular biology
Focus 52 – HPV infection in 2014
Focus 46 – Sexually transmitted diseases
Focus 27 – Measles
Focus 24 – Dengue fever
Focus 18 – 16S RNA PCR
Focus 3 – Influenza
Focus 2 – Avian influenza
Focus on – Human papillomavirus and cervical cancer screening