Company News

COPAN and Alverno Laboratories Partner to Successfully Validate PhenoMATRIX® for Detection of Group A Streptococcus Using CHROMagar’s COLOREX™ Media

June 14, 2019

COPAN and Alverno Laboratories are proud to announce the successful evaluation of the novel COLOREX™ Strep A chromogenic medium using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and digital detection to pre-assess Throat Strep Screens in WASPLab™.

Alverno Laboratories is the first laboratory in the US to install COPAN’s WASPLab™ system, and it continues to lead the pathway in adoption of innovation. “Our vision is to lead and grow through innovative partnerships, cutting edge technology, informatics, and creative people. We are always looking for ways to continuously bring technology or tests to improve patient care and positively impact time to results,” stated Dale Kahn, VP of Operations at Alverno Laboratories. The implementation of this new methodology will have a “beneficial impact to our workflow and greatly improve efficiency. We appreciated the support from COPAN during the validation process,” added Cindy Keyak MT (ASCP) SSGB, Microbiology Supervisor, Alverno Laboratories, whose team conducted the evaluation and implementation of this exciting new methodology.

Group A Strep (GAS) pharyngitis is an infection caused by Streptococcus pyogenes, responsible for 20% to 30% of sore throats in children between 5 and 15 years old. Transmission occurs by direct contact with a person suffering from Strep A pharyngitis. Crowded spaces increase the risk of spreading the disease, such as schools, childcare facilities, or among family members. The use of antibiotics is recommended to reduce the symptoms and future complications on the patient and to reduce the likelihood of spreading it in the community. Traditional bacteriology culture is the gold standard, when testing for Group A Streptococcus because of its sensitivity compared to rapid antigen testing, and its lower cost compared to molecular testing. CHROMagar™ recently developed a new formulation of its COLOREX™ chromogenic media for the detection of Group A Strep to improve and simplify traditional culture methods. Alverno Laboratories recently validated the new COLOREX™ chromogenic media in combination with COPAN’s PhenoMATRIX® for the digital pre-assessing and pre-sorting of throat cultures for GAS.

COPAN’s Chromogenic Detection Module (CDM) is part of the PhenoMATRIX® Suite to accurately detect and differentiate organisms on chromogenic agar for fast pre-assessment . “A very exciting proposal for laboratories that receive a large volume of GAS samples from pharyngeal swabs is to be able to automate and streamline the processing of throat cultures with WASPLab™ and to apply Artificial Intelligence (AI) to this unique chromogenic media with excellent specificity to pre-sort and segregate presumptive positives. ‘Never Touch a Negative Plate Again’ is not just our motto, it is the core to our development philosophy,” stated Norman Sharples, CEO, COPAN Diagnostics, Inc.

“Introducing our new chromogenic formulation in COLOREX™ StrepA with automation is a powerful example of how it can improve a high throughput test with an easy to read color differentiation of GAS colonies (in orange to red) from bacteria in the complex throat flora. At CHROMagar, we are celebrating our 40th anniversary as the inventors of chromogenic media, and we continue to innovate and develop formulations that facilitate the detection of key clinical pathogens for better patient therapies,” concluded Alberto Lerner, President and General Manager, CHROMagar.

The results of this interesting evaluation will be presented during the 2019 ASM Microbe in San Francisco on Sunday June 23 as a poster titled “Digital Detection and the use of Artificial Intelligence to Detect Group A Streptococcus using a Chromogenic Agar.”


With a reputation for innovation, COPAN is the leading manufacturer of collection and transport systems in the world. COPAN’s collaborative approach to pre-analytics has resulted in Flocked Swabs, ESwab™, UTM™ Universal Transport Medium, and laboratory automation, WASP® and WASPLab™. COPAN carries a range of microbial sampling products, inoculation loops, and pipettes. For more information, visit

About Alverno Laboratories

Alverno is an integrated delivery system providing a full service, community-based medical laboratory on behalf of the Franciscan Alliance and AMITA Health Systems. Its innovative, state-of-the-art laboratory offers the convenience and personal customer service of a local laboratory with the sophistication of a large reference laboratory. For more information, visit:

About CHROMagar

Invented in 1979, CHROMagar Microbiology was incorporated in 1993 by inventor, and pioneer in chromogenic culture media technology, Alain Rambach. Established in the heart of Paris, France, CHROMagar provides innovative chromogenic culture media solutions, designed to improve and simplify traditional culture techniques. At the cutting edge, CHROMagar has developed a new family of chromogenic media targeting very specific peptidases, improving further the specificity of this technology. For more information, visit: