New tool at U of I vet school speeds up diagnosis process

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URBANA--A $200,000 tool that cuts down on the time it takes to diagnose animal illnesses is now at the University of Illinois' Veterinary Diagnostic Lab. But the MALDI Biotyper can also help humans get treatment faster as well.

The machine speeds up the time it takes to identify an infection from as much as four days, to just hours.

It also identifies organisms that are usually hard to pinpoint and is the only machine of its kind within a 90-mile radius.

The Biotyper has already helped animals in the short time its services have been available.

"We've had a calf that has died come in in the afternoon," said Carol Maddox, a veterinary microbiologist at the U of I Veterinary Diagnostic Lab. "And by late the next morning we had identification of an organism already for the veterinarian so that they can treat the other animals that have been in that herd."

The Biotyper can also be used to identify human infections.

The lab hopes to partner with Carle Foundation Hospital, as the university works with the hospital to develop its new medical school.

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