Nanosphere Inc, Northbrook, Ill, has reported that its Verigene Gram-negative blood culture test (BC-GN) is currently the only FDA-cleared test with the rapid ability to identify the antibiotic resistance gene associated with a dangerous new superbug.

The emerging multidrug-resistant bacterium is a type of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) that presents with an antibiotic resistance profile that differs from other types of CRE. As a result, it has largely escaped the detection of health officials, making it particularly dangerous and earning it the nickname “the phantom menace.”1

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a total of 52 CRE isolates producing OXA-48-like carbapenemases—the enzyme associated with the new superbug—collected from 43 patients in 19 states between June 2010 and August 2015. Notably, while just one case was identified in 2010, 11 cases were reported each year from 2013 to 2015. CDC stresses the importance of monitoring the emergence of carbapenemases in order to limit the spread of drug-resistant infections.

Verigene BC-GN detects five of the most common causes of CRE, including OXA-48-like carbapenemases, days faster than traditional testing methods. The test’s 2-hour turnaround time enables hospitals to quickly implement infection control measures, and permits clinicians to optimize treatment for patients with resistant infections.

Photo McGarrityMichael

Michael McGarrity, Nanosphere.

“The increasing number of cases of CRE and the rise of ‘the phantom menace’ superbug underscores the critical need for rapid detection of a broad range of multidrug resistance genes,” says Michael McGarrity, Nanosphere president and CEO. “Our unique ability to identify genetic resistance positions Nanosphere to meet the needs of healthcare providers as they continue to fight the spread of antimicrobial resistance.”

For more information, visit Nanosphere.


  1. Sun L. Superbug known as ‘phantom menace’ on the rise in the US. Washington Post. December 4, 2015. Available at: Accessed January 4, 2016.