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Devices for Detection and Identification of Surface Microbial Contamination in High-Risk Facilities

Status: 
Active
Competition: 
Genomic Applications Partnership Program
Sector: 
Health
Genome Centre(s):
Ontario Genomics
Project Leader(s):
Shana Kelley (University of Toronto)
Receptor Leader(s):
Mark McInnes (Charlotte Products Ltd.)
Project Description: 

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are the 4th leading cause of death in Canada, predicted to move up to second place by 2050. Attention to cleanliness and disinfection of surfaces plays a large role in reducing HAIs. However, historically it has been difficult to measure cleaning effectiveness and meaningfully improve practices. There is a clear need for a system that can identify disease-causing bacteria and viruses on surfaces.

Charlotte Products Ltd. (CPL), a family-owned Canadian company, has developed an environmental monitoring system and optical sensor technology, called Optisolve Pathfinder®™, to complement its innovative, award-winning cleaning products. Dr. Shana Kelley is working with the company to further enhance the OptiSolve offering to allow for recognition and identification of specific pathogen species.

Dr. Kelley and her team will combine novel nanomaterials with a genomics-based approach to allow for precise identification of pathogens that cause HAIs. The resulting technology, Optisolve Insight, will allow hospitals long-term care facilities, and more to rapidly detect and identify infectious agents, such as MRSA, C. difficile, and influenza, with the resultant benefits of proactive prevention and quick interventions.

The service and technology will significantly reduce HAIs while enabling environmental services and IPAC managers and to avoid taking a “worst-case scenario” approach to infection outbreaks, which can include bed closures and cancellation of procedures. The result will be improved health of patients, residents, staff, and visitors as well as healthcare savings. This first-to-market technology will contribute to economic growth and employment for highly qualified personnel.