Pioneering diagnostics

Immunoassays

An immunoassay is a test that is used in the diagnosis, screening, monitoring or prognosis of diseases such as viral infections, cardiovascular pathologies, cancers or hormonal disorders.

Immunoassays enable any antigens* and/or antibodies** present in a given sample (e.g. serum, plasma or blood) to be identified and quantified. This technology is based on the immune system’s response: the specific recognition between an antibody and an antigen.

  • Immunoassays detect and/or quantify:
    • various types of antigens (viruses, bacteria, parasites, hormones and markers specific to certain diseases),
    • the response to these antigens by the antibodies present in the body.
  • Based on this antigen-antibody reaction, immunoassays make it possible to:
    • detect infectious agents (bacteria, viruses, parasites)
    • quantify the biomarkers specific to different diseases (infectious diseases, cardiovascular diseases, cancer).

* Antigen: a substance that is foreign to the body and recognized by the antibodies or cells of the immune system, and that can trigger an immune response. Antigens are usually proteins, polysaccharides or their lipid derivatives.

 

** Antibody: a complex protein secreted by the cells of the immune system in order to detect and neutralize antigens. Each antibody recognizes a specific antigen.

Why they’re important

  • Over and above the need for earlier detection and increasing levels of specificity in order to improve patient care, the challenge today is to offer immunoassays that are:
  • simple and robust, since they are used in both centralized and local laboratories, blood transfusion centers, emergency departments and fertility centers, in both developed and emerging countries,
  • as compact as possible, incorporating the latest technologies for miniaturization and rapidity adapted to decentralized testing, e.g. at the patient’s point of care,
  • ultra-sensitive, making it possible to detect disease at a very early stage or new biomarkers that cannot be measured with traditional methods,
  • adaptable, for use with different types of samples or small volumes,
  • standardized, according to international calibration standards, so that a patient's results can still be used in the event of a change of laboratory.

bioMérieux Product offering

  • With 27,000 VIDAS® instruments worldwide, we have the largest installed base of immunoassay systems in clinical laboratories.
    • Launched in 1991, VIDAS has demonstrated outstanding longevity, due to its robust design and the continuous development of parameters meeting healthcare professionals’ needs.
    • VIDAS® 3, the new generation, is particularly well-suited to healthcare professionals seeking to increase their autonomy through a solution tailored to their specific needs.
  • bioMérieux is constantly expanding the menus available on our automated systems, as well as our range of rapid tests. We are paying particular attention to:
    • expanding our test range to include unique, high medical-value biomarkers that:
      • assess the severity and stage of a disease,
      • measure the effectiveness of treatment,
      • indicate toxic side effects of a therapy,
      • select patients most likely to benefit from a treatment.
    • decentralized testing, performed at the patient’s point of care,
    • connectivity between our instruments and laboratory information systems,
    • remote access to instruments for bioMérieux.