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QBC F.A.S.T. AFB Kits

Detect positive AFB sputum samples to screen for infections such as tuberculosis in as little as three (3) minutes with Drucker Diagnostics’ complete F.A.S.T. AFB Kits. Multiple kit configurations are available to suit the requirements of any laboratory.

The World Health Organization has recognized the use of LED fluorescence microscopy for the detection of Acid-Fast Bacilli (AFB) such as tuberculosis because of its improvements in speed and sensitivity over Ziehl-Neelsen stains. QBC F.A.S.T. (Fluorescence and Staining Technologies) AFB Kits were developed to meet this recommendation, with a host of revolutionary advances such as:
 

  • 3-Minute F.A.S.T. Auramine O Stain prepares samples in a fraction of the time of conventional stains
  • Patent pending SureFocus Microscope Slide simplifies focusing and standardizes review to meet World Health Organization requirements
  • Total System Approach eases the burden for users as Drucker Diagnostics can provide all of the supplies needed for review
Literature

Brochure
A full-color brochure describing the many features and benefits of Fluorescence and Staining Technology
English / Español / Français

Product Description List
A list of all configurations and accessories currently available for the F.A.S.T. AFB Kits, including part numbers
English

Specification Sheet
A document containing all specifications of the F.A.S.T. AFB Kits
English

F.A.S.T. AFB Kits User Guide: Slide Preparation
This user guide provides an overview of the F.A.S.T. AFB Kits for Acid-Fast Bacilli (AFB) detection as it pertains to slide preparation
English

F.A.S.T. AFB Kits User Guide: Fluorescent Staining Procedure
This user guide provides an overview of the F.A.S.T. AFB Kits for Acid-Fast Bacilli (AFB) detection as it pertains to troubleshooting
English

F.A.S.T. AFB Kits User Guide: Troubleshooting
This user guide provides an overview of the F.A.S.T. AFB Kits for Acid-Fast Bacilli (AFB) detection as it pertains to troubleshooting
English

F.A.S.T. AFB Kits User Guide: SureFocus Microscope Slide
This user guide provides an overview of the F.A.S.T. AFB Kits for Acid-Fast Bacilli (AFB) detection as it pertains to the SureFocus Micropscope Slide
English

Reviewing TB Slides Prepared with F.A.S.T. AFB Kits
This note demonstrates how the QBC ParaLens Advance Microscope Attachment and the QBC F.A.S.T. AFB Kits may be used to help TB programs meet WHO and Stop TB Partnership goals
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Scientific Study – Walter Kuhn, Derek Armstrong, Suzanne Atteberry, Euline Dewbrey, Diane Smith, and Nancy Hooper (2010) Usefulness of the ParaLens™ Fluorescent Microscope Adapter for the Identification of Mycobacteria in Both Field and Laboratory Settings
Identification of Mycobacteria
View PDF

F.A.S.T. Stain Kit
The complete product insert for the F.A.S.T. Stain Kit
English / Deutsch / Español / Français / Italiano

F.A.S.T. AFB Smear Kit
The complete product insert for the F.A.S.T. AFB Smear Kit
English / Deutsch / Español / Français / Italiano

F.A.S.T. AFB Smear Kit with Digestion Solution
The complete product insert for the F.A.S.T. AFB Smear Kit with Digestion Solution
English / Deutsch / Español / Français / Italiano

F.A.S.T. E-Z Smear Kit
The compelte product insert for the F.A.S.T. E-Z Smear Kit
English / Deutsch / Español / Français / Italiano

F.A.S.T. Sample Kit
The complete product insert for the F.A.S.T. Control Slides
English / Deutsch / Español / Français / Italiano

F.A.S.T. Digestion Solution
The complete product insert for the F.A.S.T. Digestion Solution
English / Deutsch / Español / Français / Italiano

F.A.S.T. SureFocus Microscope Slides 
The complete product insert for the F.A.S.T. SureFocus Microscope Slides
English / Deutsch / Español / Français / Italiano

World Health Organization
In this official policy statement, the World Health Organization discusses the use of LED fluorescence microscopy using an Auramine stain for the detection of tuberculosis.
English

Association of Public Health Laboratories
On Page 3 of these guidelines for Public Health Laboratories, the Association of Public Health Laboratories discusses the use of fluorescent stain (such as F.A.S.T. stain) as the primary staining method for TB detection
English

Features

F.A.S.T. Auramine O Stain

Auramine O-based staining for AFB detection has been used for decades and is a mainstay for fluorescence microscopy of many illnesses, including tuberculosis. When stained with Auramine O, AFB fluoresce brightly against a dark background, allowing microscopists to easily identify them using lower magnification and with less eye strain than bright field methods, such as Ziehl-Neelsen staining. F.A.S.T. Auramine O Stain Kits further improve this technology with reagents that provide improved results in significantly less time. F.A.S.T. reagents take approximately three (3) minutes to stain versus twenty (20) minutes for conventional stains thus increasing lab throughput.

SureFocus Microscope Slide

This video provides a brief overview of the QBC F.A.S.T. Kits:

 

SureFocus Microscope Slides are printed with a fluorescent smear guide that is visible under the same wavelengths that excite Auramine O stain. This makes the guide completely visible during review, allowing users to keep samples in focus even on negative samples which, otherwise, would appear completely dark.

The SureFocus smear guide has also been sized specifically to standardized review. By using fluorescent milestones to follow a suggested review path, users can be confident they are meeting WHO standards for slide grading without having to count individual fields. This allows users to keep their focus on detecting AFB, with minimal distractions.

Complete AFB Detection Systems

F.A.S.T. AFB systems were developed to meet the diverse and unique needs of labs globally. They are available in several formats and contain all of the components necessary for AFB review, from collection to microscopy.

Included in all F.A.S.T. AFB kits are the F.A.S.T. Auramine O Stain kit, SureFocus Microscope Slides, and acid fast control slides (an important tool for ensuring quality results), along with all necessary collection and processing supplies. Kits are also available with digestion solution for labs that perform additional testing such as culture.

For labs building fluorescence microscopy or making the switch from bright field microscopy, full instrument and disposable packages are available which include the QBC ParaLens Advance.

Technology
QBC Fluorescence and Staining Technologies (F.A.S.T.) AFB Kits are unique systems of reagents, supplies, and instruments that couple time-proven fluorescence technology with unique innovations that provide significant advantages over conventional methods. At the heart of these systems is F.A.S.T. Auramine O Stain, which produces brightly fluorescing acid-fast bacilli for review in just three (3) minutes.

Conventional bright field microscopy techniques use aniline dyes to stain acid-fast bacteria (AFB), such as Mycobacterium Tuberculosis (TB). These staining methods take advantage of the organisms’ mycolic acid laden cell wall which is difficult to penetrate with common staining reagents. Aniline dyes such as carbol fuchsin can penetrate these waxy cell walls with the help of heat or high dye concentration. Because this stain cannot be removed by acid alcohol solvent, the organisms are considered to be “acid fast.”

For AFB such as TB, fluorescence microscopy (FM) techniques have been used for decades in larger lab settings and are proven to provide significant advantages, such as higher sensitivity and faster examination times, over bright field microscopy. The fluorescence staining techniques employed for FM make use of the fluorchome Auramine O and also take advantage of the acid-fastness of AFB such as TB. In contrast to carbol fuchsin, however, Auramine O penetrates the waxy cell wall and binds to the organism’s DNA by intercalating between the base pairs. After decolorization, non-specific fluorescence is quenched through the use of a reagent, such as potassium permanganate.

With conventional Auramine O protocols, the staining, decolorization, and quenching process takes approximately twenty (20) minutes. F.A.S.T. AFB Kits uses a proprietary Auramine O stain and a decolorizer/quenching agent to make a rapid two-step process that takes just three (3) minutes to complete. The F.A.S.T. staining procedure is simply:

  • Cover smear with F.A.S.T. Auramine O stain, let stand one (1) minute and rinse with water
  • Cover smear with F.A.S.T. Decolorizer/Quencher, let stand one (1) minute and rinse with water

Once the slide dries, the sample is ready for microscopic examination.

Like Auramine O used in conventional protocols, F.A.S.T. Auramine O stain is excited by blue light with a peak absorption around 430 nm and fluoresces in the green light spectrum. The QBC ParaLens Advance, an important tool in the F.A.S.T. product line, is uniquely formatted for performing fluorescence microscopy on Auramine O stained AFB samples. For an explanation on how the ParaLens works, click here.