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Shining a Light on Infection

Shining a Light on Infection

July 30, 2008

Medical Research, Press Releases

NEW YORK, NY — August 20, 2007 — A new type of fiber optic biosensor-enabled blood test that resembles a pen rapidly determines what type of infection a patient has and whether he needs antibiotics. The biopen, called PhagoLum, was developed by Drs. Moni Magrisso and Robert Marks of BGU’s National Institute for Biotechnology in the Negev and could be on the market by 2009.


The biopen uses whole blood chemiluminescence to differentiate between infections caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. The new test will be a boon for use in emergency rooms, physicians’ offices and laboratories. Currently it may take days to determine what type of infection a patient has, which may mean either delaying proper treatment or giving patients unnecessary antibiotics.


PhagoLum rapidly assesses the activity of certain immune cells, called phagocytes, in the blood, which correlate to a patient’s immune reaction to invading pathogens. PhagoLum can also determine how the patient is recovering and if antibiotics are working.

About American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (AABGU) plays a vital role in sustaining David Ben-Gurion’s vision: creating a world-class institution of education and research in the Israeli desert, nurturing the Negev community and sharing the University’s expertise locally and around the globe. Activities include showcasing BGU’s academic excellence and cutting-edge research through educational programs, events and informative communications. AABGU’s main purpose is to support Ben-Gurion’s vision and the university that bears his name by creating a community of Americans committed to improving the world tomorrow from the heart of the Israeli desert today.

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