Introducing the Genedrive MT-RNR1 Test at Royal Sussex County Hospital

As the exclusive distributor of the Genedrive MT-RNR1 test in the UK and Ireland, we are proud to support the most recent implementation of the world’s first point of care genetic test used to detect the mitochondrial gene MT-RNR1 in human buccal cells into Royal Sussex County Hospital (RSCH).

Neonatal infections require antibiotic treatment, with Gentamicin being the recommended first-choice antibiotic. However, 1 in 500 infants possess a single gene variant that puts them at a higher risk of developing permanent deafness, even with a single dose of Gentamicin or any other aminoglycoside.

To address this risk, RSCH’s Neonatal Unit, known as the Trevor Mann Baby Unit (TMBU), will now utilise the Genedrive MT-RNR1 test. This test offers a rapid bedside screening method to identify the gene variant in new-borns.

The Genedrive MT-RNR1 test involves a gentle swab of the baby’s inner cheek, processed at the bedside using the Genedrive MT-RNR1 machine. Within just 26 minutes, the machine analyses the baby’s DNA to check for the gene. If the genetic variation is detected, the babies receive a different antibiotic, Cefotaxime, mitigating the risk of permanent deafness.

To prevent higher rates of antibiotic resistance within the NICU, not all babies receive Cefotaxime. The Genedrive MT-RNR1 test provides a targeted approach, ensuring optimal care for those at risk while preserving the efficacy of antibiotic treatments for the broader NICU population.

The introduction of the Genedrive MT-RNR1 test at the Royal Sussex County Hospital marks a significant advancement in neonatal care. This technology allows for rapid bedside screening, enabling early identification of the gene change that poses a risk of permanent deafness. Inspiration Healthcare Group is honoured to support RSCH in implementing this technology, ensuring a brighter future for the little ones in our care.