Immunetics, Inc. to Present Novel, Rapid Test for Bacterial Contamination of Platelets at American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) Annual Meeting

October 18, 2011

Boston, Mass. - October 18, 2011 - Immunetics, Inc. announced plans to present a novel, rapid test for bacterial contamination of platelets at the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) Annual Meeting, Oct. 21st-25th, in San Diego.

Bacterial contamination of platelets has been identified as the #1 infectious risk of transfusion, with approximately 1 out of 2,000 platelet units contaminated. Transfusion of bacterially contaminated platelets poses a significant health risk, potentially resulting in serious to fatal illness in the recipient. Traditional methods for detecting bacteria are based on inoculation of platelet samples into culture bottles followed by a 24-72 hour waiting period. In addition to the lengthy incubation period, recent studies have shown these methods to be prone to both false positive and false negative results. Culture testing has been routine for single donor platelets but is not practical for pooled whole blood-derived platelets, which must be used within 4 hours of pooling. About five million platelet units are collected annually in the United States along with an equal number in other countries.

Immunetics' BacTx® rapid test can detect bacterial contamination by clinically relevant species in less than one hour, at levels below those shown to be harmful to transfusion recipients.

Multi-center clinical trials have been concluded in which the performance of the BacTx test was evaluated on whole blood-derived random-donor platelet units.

The results of these studies, and implications for other studies, will be presented and discussed by two clinical investigators at the AABB Meeting in a breakfast workshop entitled "BacTx - A Novel Method for the Detection of Bacteria in Platelets," on Monday, Oct. 24, 2011, at 7:00-8:15 a.m., in Room 29 C/D in the San Diego Convention Center. The presenters are: W. Andrew Heaton, M.D., Sr. Director of Transfusion Medicine, NSLIJ Health System and Michael R. Jacobs, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Clinical Microbiology, University Hospitals, Case Medical Center. The BacTx test is currently under pre-market review by the FDA.

For more information, contact Immunetics ( at 617-896-9100 or 800-227-4765, or visit Immunetics at booth # 643 at the AABB Annual Meeting.


About Immunetics

Immunetics Inc. ( offers state-of-the-art assay technology for infectious disease diagnosis and blood screening, and for more than ten years has been a leading innovator of tests for bacterial, viral, and parasitic diseases. The company produces and markets a range of infectious disease assay kits and instruments. Its mission is to deliver better, cost-efficient care through more accurate diagnosis. Immunetics is headquartered in Boston. Follow Immunetics on Twitter at


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