The assay was developed by MicroFluidic Systems (MFS), which was acquired on 23 May 2011 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of PositiveID.

PositiveID’s MBA tests six organisms with 16 organism specific signatures they are Bacillus anthracis (Anthrax); Yersinia pestis (Plague); Francisella tularensis (Tularemia); Burkholderia Pseudomallei (Melioidosis); Burkholderia mallei (Glanders); and Variola major (Small Pox).

The company’s proprietary multicolor combinatorial approach allows a user to screen a biological sample for the presence of five bacteria and one virus in only three simultaneous reactions, whereas a traditional singleplex method would require 16 reactions to accomplish the identical task.

MFS Programs senior director and assay co-developer Lyle Probst said their multiplex assay tests for six organisms with 16 signatures across only three reactions, provide a research, screening and monitoring tool that, they believe, will save labs considerable time and money.