Sexual Health Week

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Sexual Health Week

September 11th-17th is Sexual Health Week 

Sexual Health is a very important part of our lives, impacting on our wider physical and emotional well-being. In our relationships it is also important to act responsibly and with care – and to reduce the risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).

More than one million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are acquired every day worldwide, the majority of which are asymptomatic. STIs are on the increase, and many show very little to no symptoms.

We want to break the stigma on sexual health testing. Regular testing is what keeps us safe and prevents STI’s spreading. Regular screening can aid in detecting an infection in the early stages and help to reduce the risk of further complications.

Gonorrhoea and Syphilis, which are two of the most common STIs are increasing at alarming rates.

Usually treated easily with antibiotics, many STIs can cause serious health issues if left untreated. Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea can cause infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease, while syphilis can cause serious, irreversible, and potentially life-threatening problems with your brain, heart, or nerves. Sexually transmitted infections are on the increase, many of which present little to no active symptoms.

A Randox Health spokesperson said: ” The screenings we provide are a complete STI screen which discreetly screens for 14 common STIs including HIV, Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea and take control of your sexual health with a complete STI screen which is available in clinic.

“We also offer a Blood Borne STI screen – where you can test for four common blood borne pathogens including HIV and Hepatitis from a sample blood sample. This specific test is highly recommended for pre-IVF treatment.” They added.

“Lastly we offer a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) Test. With this you can discreetly screen for ten common sexually transmitted infections. This screening service is also available to anyone who has mild or no STI symptoms and would like to get themselves checked and is also available Inclinic.”

“Our easy to interpret test report will provide a breakdown of your results, what they mean and the next steps. Reports will be sent to the email address provided at the time of your registration.”

Find out more here: https://rb.gy/40gfv


Sexually Transmitted Infections – Rapid Testing at the Point of Care

Urgency, Challenges and Advances in STI Testing

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a major global health issue, with over 30 pathogens causing an estimated one million infections daily, a number that is rising. Surveillance programs in countries like the United States and Canada have reported an increase in STIs such as syphilis, gonorrhoea, and chlamydia. STIs can have serious consequences for sexual health, including infertility and chronic pelvic pain, particularly affecting women. The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognised the urgency of addressing this problem and has recommended measures to end the STI healthcare issue by 2030. Integrated testing, including multiplex and point-of-care testing, is considered essential. However, implementation of these recommendations at regional and national levels is lacking. Rapid point-of-care PCR tests that can detect multiple pathogens simultaneously would greatly improve STI diagnosis and containment. Currently, Randox, in collaboration with Bosch offers two STI test panels on the Vivalytic POC system: Vivalytic STI and Vivalytic MG, MH, UP/UU panels, capable of detecting multiple pathogens in a single test run, with results available within hours.

The Global Burden

  • The WHO estimates 374 million new infections of chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis annually.
  • Chlamydia is the most frequently reported STI in Europe, followed by gonorrhoea and syphilis.
  • Countries with comprehensive STI screening programs, like Denmark, have higher prevalence rates than the European average.
  • The UK has a comprehensive screening program for chlamydia targeting 15-24-year-olds, with cases accounting for 60% of total cases in the European Region.
  • The actual infection rate in countries without systematic screening is likely higher than official figures suggest.
  • Reported cases of gonorrhoea and syphilis in the European Region have increased, particularly among certain age groups and higher numbers in men than women.
Global Burden

Gaps in Current STI Testing Strategies

The European Centre for Disease Prevention (ECDC) acknowledges the growing concern of STIs in Europe and emphasises the importance of testing in their recent report. While various European countries have screening programs for chlamydia, testing options for other STI pathogens are usually limited. The lack of accessible testing, combined with the prevalence of asymptomatic infections, increases the risk of STI transmission and hampers containment efforts. Prevention campaigns and low-threshold testing opportunities are crucial to address the spread of STIs. The UK’s chlamydia screening program, implemented in 2008, demonstrated the benefits of community-based testing services and led to a significant increase in diagnosed cases, reducing the number of unreported cases.

Infections

Infections and Co-Infections

  • Co-infections, where multiple sexually transmitted pathogens are present simultaneously, are common but often go undetected due to limited testing.
  • Symptoms of co-infections can be difficult to differentiate since different pathogens can cause similar or overlapping symptoms.
  • However, most STIs, even in high-risk groups, are caused by a single sexually transmitted pathogen.
  • In cases where co-infections need to be detected, a rapid and comprehensive differential diagnosis of sexually transmitted pathogens is crucial for initiating appropriate therapy promptly.

The Importance of Rapid Results at the Point of Care

  • Rapid detection and treatment of STIs are crucial to prevent further spread.
  • Traditional STI diagnostics in specialized laboratories can result in delays of several days or up to 1-2 weeks until test results are available to the physician.
  • Delays occur due to transportation of samples, laboratory workflow, result transfer, and scheduling additional appointments.
  • The delay in treatment initiation can lead to decreased patient compliance and missed appointments.

The Vivalytic STI test provides results directly at the point of care (POC) in less than two and a half hours. It eliminates the need for sample transportation to a central laboratory. In addition, patients can receive their test results on the same day of the visit, allowing for immediate initiation of appropriate treatment.

2017-08-02-BHCS_Vivalytic-Anwendung-0616-CMYK-Edited

In a Nutshell

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) spread due to various factors. Many STIs do not show symptoms, resulting in numerous unreported and untreated cases that can have fatal consequences depending on the specific pathogen. Increasing awareness and implementing a decentralised low-threshold testing strategy can significantly reduce infections, particularly among high-risk groups. Speed and comprehensive testing of relevant pathogens are crucial for targeted therapy and containing STIs. Rapid PCR tests used at the point of care (POC) are emerging as important technologies due to their advantages. Patients receive same-day results and immediate treatment, providing clarity in just one visit. Clinicians can provide up-to-date diagnoses and treatments, even in decentralised or hospital settings, benefiting high-risk patients with limited access to healthcare.

Vivalytic

The Bosch Vivalytic, is an advanced and automated platform for molecular diagnostics that utilises PCR to detect pathogens. It offers applications for various medical disciplines and requires only a few steps from sample collection to obtaining results. The patient sample is processed automatically within the Vivalytic analyser, and the test result is displayed on its integrated screen. The time it takes to get results depends on the specific Vivalytic application. For the STI Panel, which simultaneously detects 10 common sexually transmitted pathogens, the time to result is 2.5 hours. On the other hand, the Vivalytic MG, MH, UP/UU panel, used to detect mycoplasmas and/or ureaplasmas, provides results in approximately one hour.

By conducting fully automated analyses at the point of care, Vivalytic saves valuable time for hospitals, labs, genitourinary clinics and doctor’s offices during their routine processes.

STI PanelMG, MH, UP, UU Panel
Chlamydia trachomatisMycoplasma genitalium
Neisseria gonorrhoeaeMycoplasma hominis
Trichomonas vaginalisUreaplasma parvum/Ureaplasma
Mycoplasma genitalium
Treponema pallidum
Mycoplasma hominis
Ureaplasma urealyticum
Haemophilus ducreyi
Herpes simplex virus I
Herpes simplex virus II

At a Glance

  • The Vivalytic system allows fully automated sample analysis with minimal manual steps.
  • It eliminates the need for expensive and complex laboratory equipment.
  • Vivalytic supports both single and multiplex tests.
  • The Vivalytic does not require peripheral equipment such as a laptop, keyboard, barcode scanner, or charging station.
  • The cartridge used in the system ensures hygienic and safe operation as a closed system.
  • Cartridges can be stored and used at room temperature.
  • Vivasuite, a cloud-based solution, facilitates convenient device management.
  • The Vivalytic can be seamlessly integrated into existing IT structures using HL7, Ethernet, USB, or WLAN.
Vivalytic Reflection

For more information please contact us at: marketing@randox.com


Rapid MG, MH, UP/UU Testing Now Available on Vivalytic

Introducing MG, MH, UP/UU Testing to Vivalytic


Aiding the rapid diagnosis of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and immediate decision making at the point of care, the Vivalytic portfolio of tests has now expanded to complement current comprehensive screening for STI’s, introducing rapid screening for Mycoplasma genitalium (MG), Mycoplasma hominis (MH) & Ureaplasma parvum (UP)/urealyticum (UU) in 1 hour.

What are MG, MH, UP/UU pathogens?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 30 different bacterial species, viruses and parasites have been identified to be involved in the spread of STIs. Mycoplasmas in particular belong to the group of human pathogenic bacterial species with many risk associations particularly on the female reproductive system.1 Studies have also found that UU and MH are implicated in prematurity-linked conditions 2. UP & UU bacterium again are implicated to have adverse implications for both men & women. They affect up to 70% of sexually active couples and exist mostly in an asymptomatic state. If left untreated, UP & UU may be associated with infertility and other risk associations such as meningitis and pneumonia. 3

Why test MG, MH, UP/UU on Vivalytic?

Current diagnostic cultivation methods for screening can take up to three days for MH, UP and UU or even 6 months, with the introduction of these STI pathogens to the Vivalytic, quick, accurate diagnosis and immediate treatment decisions can be made at the point of care , before symptoms worsen, or any long-term implications occurs to the patient. In a world where over 1 million STIs are acquired daily 5, a quick and efficient process that allows for almost immediate results can improve operations considerably.

The push to encourage individuals to test themselves regularly before engaging in sexual activities with a new partner is becoming more and more widespread. The Vivalytic, as a portable point of care device, designed to suit a range of environments such as Doctors’ offices or GUM/ Sexual Health Clinic, can provide a screening immediately, minimising the stress and uncertainty a patient may experience whilst waiting for a result to receive the relevant treatments if needed. The Vivalytic’s speed not only provides reliable and precise diagnoses, but also plays a role in fighting the spread of STIs and minimising hospitalisations that may arise from complications from undetected sexually transmitted pathogens.

Features and Benefits

  • By using a single cartridge, the Vivalytic MG, MH, UP/UU test detects and differentiates between pathogens of the Mycoplasmataceae family
  • Detection Method: Real-Time PCR
  • Result Time: 1 hour
  • Sample Volume: 300μl Clinical Sample
  • Sample Type: Swab (Urethral, Vaginal, Cervical, Rectal), Urine
DETECTABLE PATHOGENS
  • Mycoplasma genitalium (MG)
  • Mycoplasma hominis (MH)
  • Ureaplasma parvum (UP)/urealyticum (UU)

 

What makes this possible?

Making this happen, The MG, MH, UP/UU rapid test on Vivalytic by Bosch, a point of care platform brought to the market by Randox Laboratories. The Vivalytic system is a fully automated, cartridge-based platform capable of both Hi-Plex and Lo-Plex infectious disease testing. Each easy-to-use cartridge contains all necessary reagents, is fully sealed to minimise risk and can be conveniently stored at room temperature.

Making a point to care, the Vivalytic also provides a comprehensive sexual health profile of 10 bacterial, viral, and protozoan infections with a rapid turnaround time of just 2 hours from sample entry to result. Designed to offer a complete sexual health profile with an aim of prevention and control, the Vivalytic STI array can be used to diagnose existing infections whilst any identifying co-infections.

The Vivalytic consolidates the full molecular workflow into a small benchtop platform, capable of extraction, PCR amplification and detection.  It follows an easy 4 step process from sample entry to results and with the gold standard PCR testing. With most up to date technology, the Vivalytic has wireless connectivity, with no peripherals required, making a unique space saving and hygienic solution. Handling and utilisation are simple and medical professionals require only minimal training.

 

 

For more information on the Vivalytic, why not visit our webpage: https://www.randox.com/vivalytic-molecular-point-of-care/

For more information on our new MG, MH, UP/UU test, please contact market@randox.com

References:

  1. Mardh P. A., Westrom L., von Mecklenburg C., Hammar E. Studies on ciliated epithelia of the human genital tract. I. Swelling of the cilia of Fallopian tube epithelium in organ cultures infected with Mycoplasma hominisThe British Journal of Venereal Diseases1976;52(1):52–57.
  2. Viscardi R. M. Ureaplasmaspecies: role in neonatal morbidities and outcomes. Archives of Disease in Childhood: Fetal and Neonatal Edition2014;99(1):F87–F92.
  3. World Health Organization. “Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).” int, World Health Organization: WHO, 22 Nov. 2021, www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sexually-transmitted-infections-(stis).

Want to know more about Randox?

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Testing for STIs with Confidante At Home Testing Kit

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are passed from one person to another typically through unprotected sex or genital contact.1 Some of the most common STIs are Chlamydia, Genital Warts, Herpes, Gonorrhoea, HIV and Viral Hepatitis. Over one million STIs are acquired every day worldwide.2

Not all STIs cause noticeable symptoms. You could have an STI and not know. Therefore it is essential to get regular health checks. Some STIs, like chlamydia, can be asymptomatic – i.e. they display no symptoms but can cause long-term complications like infertility.3

STI symptoms in women

  • yellow or green vaginal discharge
  • smelly discharge (often fish-like)
  • bleeding between periods
  • bleeding after sex
  • pain during sex

STI symptoms in men

  • discharge from penis tip
  • irritation of the urethra
  • swollen testicles

STI symptoms in both genders

  • pain when urinating
  • itching, burning or tingling around the genitals
  • blisters, sores, lumps or a rash around genitals or anus

Confidante At-Home STI Testing Kit

If you have recently entered a new relationship, experienced unprotected sex or are planning a family you should get tested for STIs, and may want to avail of our 10-plex STI test.

We offer a home testing sexually transmitted infection kit called ‘Confidante’ which enables you to be tested for 10 of the most common STIs. Confidante is designed to ensure a simple, hassle-free process where you will receive your results in 7 working days of posting your sample via email or telephone.

The process is straightforward and so simple: Buy Online / Register Kit Online / Collect Sample / Post / Receive Results.

For healthcare professionals, we also offer a Multiplex Sexually Transmitted Infection Array allowing you to outsource samples for STI testing. The CE-marked STI Array provides excellent precision, specificity, sensitivity and accuracy for STI diagnoses, which reduces the risk of false reporting and unnecessary confirmatory tests. Our simultaneous multiplex testing means smaller sample volumes are required, enabling faster throughput and rapid patient diagnosis saving you time and money.

STI Multiplex Array detects the following;

  • Chlamydia Trachomatis
  • Neisseria Gonorrhoea
  • Herpes Simplex 1
  • Herpes Simplex 2
  • Treponema Pallidum
  • Mycoplasma Hominis
  • Ureaplasma Urealticum
  • Mycoplasma Genitalium
  • Haemophilius Ducreyi
  • Trichomonas Vaginalis

Randox Clinical Laboratory Services

Tests for each of the STIs detailed above are run in Randox Clinical Laboratory Services (RCLS) in Antrim, Northern Ireland. RCLS is built upon Randox’s 35 years of experience and provides a clinical laboratory service designed to meet the time-sensitive, bespoke requirements of clinical and research projects globally.

RCLS have 4 UKAS ISO 17025 accredited testing laboratories No. 9329 – with unrivalled facilities across the UK. They are situated in Liverpool, London, Holywood and Randox Science Park Antrim. Within each of the locations there are a team of experienced scientists to support your project while you save money, time and labour.

There are a variety of analyser platforms available across the RCLS laboratories including the RX series of clinical chemistry analysers, along with our Evidence Series of multiplex immunoassay/molecular diagnostic systems, which utilise our intelligent Biochip Array Technology.  Each site also offers alternative third-party analysers.

To find out more information about Confidante sexual health testing, or RCLS, visit: https://www.confidantetest.com/ or email info@rcls.com. To find out more information about our STI Array visit: https://www.randox.com/sti-array/ or email info@rcls.com

  1. https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/sexual-and-reproductive/sexually-transmitted-infections-stis
  2. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sexually-transmitted-infections-(stis)
  3. https://onlinedoctor.lloydspharmacy.com/uk/info/sexual-health-information/what-is-a-sti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Take control with Confidante this Sexual Health Week

The prevalence of STIs

More than 30 different bacteria, viruses and parasites known to be transmitted through sexual contact and therefore over 1 million sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are acquired every day worldwide.

As a result the requirement for multiplex diagnostic testing has become increasingly prevalent, as many STIs can co-exist.

Sexual Health Week

Sexual Health Week, which takes place on 24th – 28th September each year, highlights the importance of safe sex. If you have recently entered a new relationship, experienced unprotected sex or are planning a family you may wish to avail of an STI test to determine your current sexual health status and take appropriate corresponding action.

Confidante

The thought of sexual health testing however can often be nerve-wracking and embarrassing, which is why we offer a home testing kit called Confidante, which enables you to be tested for 10 of the most common STIs from the comfort of your own home.

You can purchase your test kit in complete confidence as transactions are handled safely and securely.

STIs tested with Confidante

·        Chlamydia ·        Trichomonas Vaginalis
·        Gonorrhoea ·        Mycoplasma Hominis
·        Syphilis ·        Mycoplasma Genitalium
·        Herpes Simplex 1 ·        Ureaplasma Urealyticum
·        Herpes Simplex 2 ·        Chancroid

The process is simple and easy to follow:

  1. Buy Online
  2. Register Kit Online
  3. Collect Sample and Post
  4. Receive Results

Confidante is specifically designed to be straightforward to use, with all you need included in our discreetly packaged kit. We have made the entire process as convenient as possible with pre-paid envelopes and user-friendly instructions to ensure a simple, hassle-free process.

You will receive your confidential results in 7 working days of posting your sample either via email or telephone depending upon your section on the test order form.

To order your STI kit visit https://www.confidantetest.com/

For further information please contact randoxpr@randox.com or phone 028 9442 2413

 

 

 


STI mockumentary goes viral as STI rates in the UK continue to soar

  • New STI awareness campaign infects digital and social media
  • ‘Mockumentary’ promotes revolutionary new STI home test
  • Thousands caught out by spoof STI and sniffer dog squad
  • Leading sexual health charity praises timing of campaign as Christmas Party season kicks in

British biotechnology company Randox Laboratories, continues to break new ground, with a spoof documentary to promote its home STI test, Confidante. The award winning firm, recognised internationally for its leading diagnostic technologies, is proving that it is also ahead of the curve when it comes to promoting its products.

Thousands have been caught out by the ‘mockumentary’ which follows the officers and dogs of the STI Detection unit as they sniff out undetected STIs around the UK.

The film, which shows unsuspecting punters outed in public by sniffer dogs Radar, Frisbee and their handlers, ends with an invitation to ‘check your privates in private’ with the Confidante test. The light-hearted strategy is designed to prompt 25-34 year olds to think about their sexual health and get tested.

Dr Peter FitzGerald, Managing Director of Randox Laboratories, said:

“So far, ten thousand people a day are watching the mockumentary, we expect this to grow as the campaign continues. For us it is ultimately about improving health, raising awareness of STIs and encouraging people get tested, we’ve opened up what can be a taboo subject and have done so with humour!

Every day one million people across the world are infected with an STI and at home incidents are continuing to soar – in the UK we are seeing worrying levels of chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis in particular; we want people to take their sexual health seriously and regular testing is a key part of that”.

Sexual health charity FPA has applauded the timing and effectiveness of the campaign. Natika Halil, director of health and wellbeing, said:

“This has clearly created something of a talking point around STIs, which is particularly important in the run up to Christmas and New Year parties as we know people are less likely to think of infections after they have been drinking.

If you have sex without a condom then you are at risk of getting an STI, and not everyone who has an infection has signs or symptoms – so it’s possible to pass it on without realising.”

The infectious digital content has been produced Randox Marketing and creative agency Langland. Randox Marketing Manager, Chris Henry said they wanted something that would start people talking about STIs:

“Our goal was to engage a whole new audience of potential customers who may be too embarrassed to take their sexual health seriously. We believe this campaign does exactly that, communicating the shock of being exposed in public, but doing it with humour, in a way people can engage with without feeling they are publically declaring they have an STI.”

Confidante is the world’s first STI home test kit, to detect 10 common STIs and can be used in the privacy of the home. It uses Randox’s unique Biochip Array Technology, with results delivered within 7 working days, confidentially, via a nurse specialist, either by phone or email. Advice, GP appointments, treatments are available through the Randox Healthcare division, Randox Health.


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