FV applied VIRTUO system in diagnostic test

Recent technological advances have brought about a revolution on an international scale for microbiology laboratories. These new technologies are helping microbiology laboratories ensure faster and more accurate diagnoses to patients and clinicians. In most major countries of the world, the new developments have personalised the way microbiology laboratories (and clinical laboratories in general) work with doctors, nurses and patients and also allowed laboratories to intervene at a community-level in public health.

In fulfilment to our mission statement To Provide World-Class Medical Expertise People Trust, FV Hospital is proud to announce the first of three state-of-the-art microbiology technologies. With these added technologies, FV Hospital will be the first and only laboratory in Vietnam fully-equipped and automated with such a combination of internationally approved (CE Marked) equipment.

The recently acquired BACT/ALERT VIRTUO™ is a world-first, fully-automated, new generation blood culture detection system for sepsis management.


Sepsis is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death. In spite of advances in modern medicine including vaccines, antibiotics and acute care, sepsis remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Sepsis is reported to account for an estimated 19 million cases worldwide each year and causing 1 death every 3 – 4 seconds.

The most effective means of managing septic patients requires early recognition, confirmatory diagnostics, and rapid directed antimicrobial therapy and systemic support. Any delay in treatment results in a significant decrease for a patient’s chances of survival. Antimicrobial treatment within the first hour of diagnosis increases the chance of survival by 80%; however this is reduced by 7.6% each hour after that. Blood cultures offer the best and most important tool for sepsis diagnosis and confirmation.

Blood Culture

A blood culture is a test where blood is collected from the patient and added into bottles that contains growth medium to support growth of infection-causing microorganisms which may be present in the patient’s blood circulation. A positive blood culture confirms the infectious cause of an illness and also leads to identification of the microorganism and therefore enables the optimisation of appropriate antibiotic use.

A blood culture should always be requested if a bloodstream infection or sepsis is suspected in a patient. The following symptoms may be indicative of bloodstream infection:

  • Shock, chills
  • Unexplained fever (≥38⁰C) or hypothermia (≤36⁰C)
  • Severe local infection e.g. meningitis, pneumonia, endocarditis
  • Abnormally increase heart rate or respiratory rate
  • Low or increased blood pressure.


VIRTUO is currently the only blood culture incubation system in the world that features fully automated loading and unloading of the bottles. This improves stability of the incubation temperature, and also a reduction in the time to detection of microorganisms. The system utilises high-grade optics and a new detection algorithm which has demonstrated faster detection times (on average four hours earlier compared to other systems).

This reduced time to detection enhances the ability to positively impact patient care.
The system also incorporates audible and visual alert systems to notify of any positive blood culture which will be reported immediately to the patient’s doctor.

Upcoming Technologies

In May and June of 2018, FV Microbiology department will add other exciting new generation technologies for identification of microorganisms. These platforms utilise molecular techniques and mass spectrometry to identify and classify microorganisms in real-time.

These exciting developments will enhance infectious disease diagnosis and patient care at FV and the community at large.

We are very excited to offer the most up-to-date technological advances as a first-for-Vietnam in infectious disease diagnosis and patient care.

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