The QuickFISH system is a novel molecular diagnostic system based on the patented PNA-FISH technology. The principle of the assay is a simple one, enhancing the well-known technique of Fluorescent In Situ Hybridisation (FISH) by incorporating the use of Peptide Nucleic Acids (PNA). Peptide Nucleic Acid (PNA) molecules are DNA mimics in which the negatively charged sugar phosphate backbone found in DNA and RNA is replaced with a non-charged polyamide or “peptide” backbone, while retaining the nucleotide bases that form the basis of the genetic code.

This means that a PNA molecule will hybridise according to the same base-pairing rules as any other nucleic acid. However, as the PNA molecule is unaffected by electrostatic repulsion between negatively charged backbones, it will bind more rapidly and specifically than a comparable DNA or RNA molecule. This means that probes composed of PNA can be shorter, and their hydrophobic backbone allows them to cross the cell membrane with ease.

PNAFish vs Conventional DX PNAFish vs Conventional DX

The PNA-FISH technology uses these characteristics to allow pathogens to be identified quickly and accurately. By using PNA-FISH probes with a complementary sequence to the pathogen’s ribosomal RNA, a specific and sensitive reaction enables whole cell visualisation of the target pathogen(s) using fluorescence microscopy. The assay requires minimal sample preparation as cells don’t need to be lysed to isolate genetic material and generates visual results that match Gram-stain morphology.

The QuickFISH platform has brought further advances to this technique by eliminating the need for wash steps, reducing incubation times and simplifying the protocol. As a definitive pathogen identification can be obtained in 20 minutes, the QuickFISH technique is ideal for use in any clinical microbiology laboratory.


QuickFISH: Candida


Unlike C.alibicans and C.paralopsilosis, many C.glabrata isolates are not sensitive to fluconazole: species identity is needed to help make the correct decisions on appropriate treatment.

QuickFISH: Candida allows clinicians to rapidly ensure early, appropriate antifungal therapy, facilitating better patient outcomes and reducing antifungal drug costs.

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QuickFISH: Enterococcus


According to the Health Protection Agency, bacteraemias caused by Enterococcus species are the fourth most common type seen in NHS hospitals. The vast majority of these infections can be linked to two causative pathogens, Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium.

QuickFish Enterococcus allows clinicians to rapidly ensure early, appropriate therapy for patients with E. faecium infections, while minimising the unnecessary use of broad spectrum antibiotics

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QuickFISH: Gram Negative Rods


Gram negative rods look identical under the light microscope after gram staining and further identification to species by culture methods can take 24-48 hours.

QuickFISH: Gram negative rods allows clinicians to rapidly ensure early, appropriate therapy for patients with Pseudomonas bacteraemia, while minimising the unnecessary use of aggressive and broad spectrum antibiotics.

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QuickFISH: Staphylococcus


Staphylococcus species look identical under the light microscope after gram staining, and further identification to species by culture methods can take 24-48 hours.

QuickFISH: Staphylococcus provides a positive, unambiguous species ID in 20 minutes, and is based on the proven, patented PNA-FISH technology from AdvanDX.

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About Sepsis Diagnostics

Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by the presence of micro-organisms such as bacteria (bacteraemia) and fungi (fungaemia) in the bloodstream. Disease progression can be rapid so effective clinical intervention in these cases requires prompt diagnosis and identification of the responsible pathogen.

The QuickFISH system offers unprecedentedly fast (20 minute) species identification of pathogens directly from positive blood cultures, allowing the reporting of pathogen identification at the same time as the reporting of Gram stain results. Implementation of QuickFISH for sepsis diagnostics can deliver

  • Improved patient outcomes
  • Decreased financial outlay
  • Optimised antibiotic use
  • Decreased patient length of stay