Wednesday 23rd June 2010

ProtoCOL 2 SBA application for rapid vaccine potency testing

Synbiosis is pleased to announce the introduction of a new Serum Bactericidal Assay (SBA) software module for use with its innovative ProtoCOL 2 colony counter.

The SBA assay, used to test a number of meningitis vaccines generates plates of colonies that are frequently tiny and overlapping. Therefore, Synbiosis has designed the ProtoCOL 2 with unique three colour LED lighting and a high resolution camera to generate life-like images of colonies as small as 0.043 mm for the new SBA module to analyse. ProtoCOL 2 which is easily integrated into a 21CFR Part 11 environment, has powerful algorithms that analyse the image to determine true colonies by shape, colour and size and also defines separate colonies where the colonies touch, providing very accurate counts from SBA assays.

Using the new SBA module, the ProtoCOL 2 can analyse up to 300 sample plates, counting thousands of colonies per hour, a task which would take a microbiologist an entire day to achieve using inaccurate manual techniques. The results are shown on screen after each count and an image library is created, allowing scientists to view plates from SBA assays if there is a query after they have been thrown away.

The numerical data generated by the SBA module is transferred into an Excel file where it can be instantly transferred into statistical analysis software. Alternatively the counts can be archived alongside their batch number and vaccine name in an integrated SQL database. Producing these files ensures it is quick and easy to locate important information for presentation to regulatory authorities on demand.

Martin Smith of Synbiosis explained: “Testing the efficacy of meningitis vaccines post SBA assay can be very difficult because the colonies produced are so small and often confluent. This is why we are delighted to introduce such intelligent software for the ProtoCOL 2 which overcomes these issues with ease.”

Martin added: “This will save microbiologists hours of time consuming analysis and will make the ProtoCOL 2 the world’s number one system for testing bacterial vaccine potency.”

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