Synbiosis, a world-leading manufacturer of automated microbiological systems, is delighted to announce a major government organisation, the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), will install 25 ProtoCOL 3 automated colony counting and inhibition zone sizing systems to help increase productivity of vaccine and antibiotic testing at SFDA’s laboratories across China.

The SFDA, which formulates policies and programmes for the administration of drugs, medical devices, health food and cosmetics in China will initially be using the ProtoCOL 3 systems to assess the effectiveness of bacterial vaccines following an (OPKA) opsonophagocytic-killing assay or Serum Bactericidal Assay (SBA). Scientists at the SFDA will also use the system in future to measure inhibition zones for testing the efficacy of antibiotics.

The ProtoCOL 3 system has a unique tri-colour imaging method to detect coloured and white colonies as small as 43 microns. The system requires minimal training so is perfect for busy microbiology quality assurance laboratories. The order for 25 units of ProtoCOL 3 systems came via Hua Yue Enterprise Holdings Ltd, one of Synbiosis’ expert Chinese distributors, after a lengthy competitive assessment by the SFDA.

This sale is the largest for these colony counters in 2013 and closely follows another large installation of 27 ProtoCOL 3 systems in Asia in 2012. The ProtoCOL 3 was chosen by the SFDA because of its accuracy and also because the system is available with software written in English and Chinese, which means it is easier for Chinese microbiologists to access and successfully use the technology.

Leon Zou, General Manager, Microbial Division at Hua Yue Enterprise Holdings Ltd, commented: “The order from the SFDA is the result of a six month, rigorous tender process, in which technology from 10 other international companies was assessed alongside the ProtoCOL 3. The SFDA chose ProtoCOL 3 mainly because its ability to detect tiny colonies is the most effective for use post OPKA and SBA. ProtoCOL 3 can also accurately measure inhibition zones, making the system ideal for future antibiotic testing.”

Martin Smith of Synbiosis concluded: “We’re pleased to receive such a large order for the ProtoCOL 3 systems from the Chinese SFDA because it confirms the system’s capabilities have been recognised by a major government organisation, which only accepts the best tools for their quality assurance programmes. The ProtoCOL 3 will benefit the SFDA’s laboratories by significantly improving their quality testing throughput and will contribute to speeding up the release of essential vaccines and antibiotics in China.”

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