The non-exclusive collaboration will improve the processing of Qiagen’s QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus (QFT-Plus) diagnostic test by using the Fluent Laboratory Automation workstation of Tecan for the aliquoting of samples for the optional Lithium Heparin single-tube workflow.

Qiagen claims that it has developed its fourth-generation QFT-Plus as the modern gold standard for latent TB detection based on interferon gamma release assay (IGRA) technology.

The company said that among other latent TB screening tests available, QFT-Plus is designed to offers the most flexible workflow including a single-tube option.

The single-tube option enables the efficient screening in large-scale programs by collecting blood samples at patient sites and transporting them to labs for processing up to 53 hours after venipuncture.

Qiagen molecular diagnostics business head and senior vice president Thierry Bernard said: “We are pleased to collaborate with Tecan, a proven leader with a track record of providing best-in-class liquid handling technology solutions, to further improve the automation of the pre-analytic manual steps leading to our QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus test for customers.

“This automated workflow, which has potential to be rolled out globally, should significantly improve laboratories’ economics and ease of use for the QuantiFERON-TB technology, especially in clinical markets that increasingly rely on the single-tube collection version of the test.”

Both the companies are working together to optimize a solution that standardizes and automates the manual steps in liquid handling for the aliquoting of samples.

Through new solution, customers could leverage the high-performance fluent automation system to significantly reduce the handling time and provide great ease of use in pre-analytic methods along with reducing processing errors and variability between runs.

Furthermore, the front-end automation solutions also offer an efficient automation of single tube collection for QFT-Plus, and improve the patient blood collection experience.

Tecan Life Sciences Business division head and executive vice president Klaus Lun said: “Our vision at Tecan is to empower every laboratory, every day, around the world and we are delighted to collaborate with Qiagen, a global leader in the important area of modern latent TB detection, to help even more labs to increase productivity and reduce processing errors through automation of tedious manual steps.”