Roche Applied Science has joined forces with TIB MOLBIOL to provide scientists in Europe with complementary technologies to detect enterohaemorrhagic E. coli.

There has been a significant increase in the number of cases of bloody diarrhoea associated with haemolytic-uraemic syndrome over the past month, mainly in Germany.

More than 300 laboratory confirmed cases have been reported, three of them fatal.

Roche Applied Science, part of Hoffman-La Roche, has provided life science researchers with LightCycler instruments and software that detects enterohaemorrhagic E. coli using the polymerase chain reaction, which speeds up the diagnostic process.

The standard procedure for enterohaemorrhagic E. coli detection requires an overnight bacterial culture from patient stool samples, but to expedite time-to-result, it is possible to isolate the bacterial nucleic acids directly from stool samples using Roche Applied Science MagNA pure sample preparation systems.

The LightMix kit from TIB Molbiol contains pre-mixed primers and probes for use with the LightCycler Instruments.

The test detects and differentiates Shiga toxin genes and can be performed in less than one hour.