Local Lab Gets FDA Approval For C. Diff Testing Kit - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Local Lab Gets FDA Approval For C. Diff Testing Kit

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Hospitals across the country are being challenged by diagnosing a contagious and deadly superbug. A local lab has a solution to the illness affecting hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, is a nasty bacteria that first gives you diarrhea, but can quickly lead to a deadly intestinal disease.

"It's extremely resistant to disinfectants and highly resistant to many antibiotics," pathologist Dr. Thomas Davis said.

More than 500,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with C. diff every year, and from that number about 28,000 people die, often times because it can take between two and three days to test for the superbug. But now there's a faster product on the market.

Jamie Condie from BD GeneOhm is launching his company's new testing system, approved by the FDA just a month ago.

"The test is reliable, it's fast and its accurate, which is exactly what physicians are looking for," Condie said.

That new test analyzes a person's DNA, detecting C. diff in just two hours.

"The faster we can get accurate results to the clinician, the more able they are to act upon them," clinical research manager DeAnna Fuller said.

A speedy diagnosis not only helps patients, but encourages healthcare professionals to wipe down equipment and wash their hands, preventing the contagious bug from spreading to others.

If you're tested for C. diff, you may want to ask your doctor if they have this new testing system. This new product will be showing up in hospitals over the next six to 12 months.

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