MERLIN, the corporation for microbiological diagnostics, developes and manufactures products for automized identification and susceptibility testing of bacteria and yeasts. These in-vitro dagnostics are used in routine laboratories in the fields of human medicine as well as in veterinary medicine.

Since 1990, MERLIN is present in a variety of international research and study projects. This is due to MERLIN’s scientific support and the ability to produce individual diagnostics in lower amounts.

MICRONAUT AST systems – antimicrobial susceptibility testing of bacteria and yeasts

MICRONAUT AST systems combine approved methods with highest flexibility. The user has the choice:

  • Antibiotic configuration

You select what you need – from about 200 antimicrobial agents or drug combinations.

  • Method

MIC- or breakpoint determination or the combination of both. A phenotypic confirmatory assay can be additionally integrated for ESBL or MRSA detection.

  • Test configuration

1, 2, 4 or 8 tests per micro plate can be realized.Test systemYou can decide for the rapid option with an incubation of 6 hours or for the overnight option with an incubation of 18 to 24 hours.

  • Country-specific performance standards

EUCAST, CLSI, SFM, or others.

In addition to the large variety of antibiotic compounds for human medicine and veterinary medicine, there is available a broad spectrum of antifungal compounds for antifungal susceptibility testing of yeasts. Soon after launch new antimicrobial drugs will be incorporated in the MERLIN product portfolio which is further completed by new tests for phenotypic detection of clinical relevant resistance mechanisms.

MICRONAUT ID systems – identification of bacteria and yeasts

MICRONAUT ID systems are based on biochemical reactions. In total, 400 clinical relevant species of bacteria and yeasts can be identified. The system design reflects the requirements in routine diagnostics like gram positives, gram negatives, bacillus species, yeasts and others.

  • This ingenious system of building blocks enables the technicians to combine the ID systems according to the special laboratory requirements.
  • Depending on the test configuration of the micro plate the identification of 2 till 8 isolates can be performed simultaneously.
  • The test system provides the rapid option for 5 to 6 hours of incubation or the overnight option for 18 to 24 hours of incubation.

MICRONAUT software and devices

  • The MICRONAUT software as the core component of the whole system includes device control, device communication, data analysis and LIMS communication. The integrated expert system checks the plausibility of the photometrical tests and provides the clinical validation.
  • The new MICRONAUT ASTroID combines automized microbial identification by using MALDI-TOF technique with antimicrobial susceptibility testing. Up to a hundred tests per hour can be handled, i.e. high quality performance with highly reduced hands-on time.
  • MERLIN recommends the PrecisionTM XS – an automated pipetting system for the inoculation of the MICRONAUT AST plates. The PrecisionTM XS, manufactured by BioTek Instruments, has been validated by MERLIN to be applied with the MICRONAUT AST systems. The PrecisionTM XS enables an automized pre-filling of up to 50 MICRONAUT AST plates in a single run, i.e. up to a hundred tests can be completed within an hour.

The competent MERLIN team gives support to all customers who need assistance to accomplish the rising challenges and requirements for the routine diagnostic laboratory.

As from January 2014, sifin diagnostics GmbH headquartered in Berlin act as MERLIN's sales partner worldwide.

The distribution of special customized products for research facilities and industrial multi center studies remains in the responsibility of MERLIN.

MERLIN | A Bruker Company

MERLIN becomes Bruker's Center of Excellence for MALDI Biotyper-based AST

Bruker acquires MERLIN to add Selected Antibiotic Resistence and Susceptability Testing to its MALDI Biotyper® Microbial Identification Platform

26.07.2017  |  Dr. Esther Pfeil, Managing Director of MERLIN Diagnostika GmbH, commented this acquisition: "We are very pleased to be part of Bruker's microbiology business now, as we have been collaborating with Bruker already for several years. Our product and service offerings in the field of antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST) complement the MALDI Biotyper system for fast and efficient microbial identification. With our proven expertise in the field of AST, we aim to accelerate further assay additions to the MBT-STAR™ consumables portfolio for selected, rapid antibiotic resistance and susceptibility testing on the MALDI Biotyper."

MERLIN will continue to serve all existing collaboration and distribution partners, as well as all OEM customers and end customers after the acquisition.

Further details about MERLIN’s acquisition by Bruker are provided in this press release.


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EUCAST warns against the use of vancomycin gradient tests for MIC determination!

21.05.2019  |  EUCAST warns against the use of gradient tests for vancomycin MIC determination, since this causes false susceptibility. EUCAST recommends products based on broth microdilution procedure as method of choice for vancomycin MIC determination to confirm vanB low-level resistance in Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus faecium. (ref. MIC-Strip Vancomycin/Teicoplanin).
More information about the difficulties in the EUCAST vancomycin susceptibiliy testing

NEW | MICRONAUT-S Carbapenemases Detection

11.09.2018  |  The new two-test-plate MICRONAUT-S Carbapenemases Detection, which is based on broth microdilution procedure, provides phenotypic detection of clinically relevant carbapenemases (type A carbapenemases (e.g. KPC), metallo-β-lactamases, and OXA-48-like type D carbapenemases) in enterobacteria and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

  • NEW: Phenotypic confirmatory assay of OXA-48-like type D carbapenemases in enterobacteria by the new inhibitor combination meropenem / avibactam and determination of high-level temocillin resistance.
  • Two isolates can be tested per plate.

The layout of this special plate is available on request.

Dr. Esther Pfeil elected as a member of the German CCI General Assembly

01.01.2017  |  Last autumn, Dr. Esther Pfeil, Managing Director of MERLIN Diagnostika GmbH, took part in the election to the General Assembly of the chamber of commerce and industry Bonn / Rhein-Sieg. Since January 1st, 2017, she is representing the interests of the manufacturing industry in the Rhein-Sieg area for five years at the General Assembly. Dr. Pfeil decided to present herself as a candidate "since I am a managing director of an SME, I would like to take responsibility for the strengthening of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and their employees in our region. Subjects, of which I feel touched and which I would like to move forward, are the enhancement of market ability through innovation, the expansion of existing training and development programs to promote skilled workers, and the reconcilability of family and work."



EUCAST warning regarding Colistin susceptibility testing

28.11.2016 | Thanks to our microdilution procedure, EUCAST recommends our MICRONAUT products for Colistin testing!

More information about the difficulties in the EUCAST Colistin susceptibility testing

MICRONAUT-UR | update with the new antibiotic Mecillinam

19.10.2016  |  The plate MICRONAUT-UR, which is used in the bacteriological laboratory diagnostics for urology, is from now on available with an improved antibiotics spectrum. It has been enriched by the new antibiotic Mecillinam.

NRW subsidies for the joint research project "PathoSept"

MERLIN is among the winners in the key market competition LifeSciences.NRW

01.08.2016 | MERLIN Diagnostika is one of the winners of the first round in the key market competition LifeSciences.NRW: Referees voted for the joint research project "PathoSept", which is intended to save many lives by rapidly diagnosing threatening infections.

In the key market competition LifeSciences.NRW, 10 joint projects were selected from 51 contest entries, which will be funded with a total of 19.3 million euros.

"Winner is also our project 'PathoSept', with which we want to create a diagnostic complete system under the coordination of the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology. It very quickly identifies pathogenic agents of life-threatening infections and simultaneously allows a quantitative determination of the antibiotic resistance profile. Based on these results, it can be initiated a targeted individual antibiotic therapy no later than nine hours", says Dr. Esther Pfeil, Managing Director of MERLIN Diagnostika.

In addition to the Fraunhofer Institute and MERLIN, the companies Carpegen GmbH, based in Münster, and Jüke Systemtechnik GmbH as well as the university clinics of Aachen and Bonn, belong to the network. The volume of this project is about 3.5 million euros.

Every year, more than 56,000 people die from sepsis in Germany, one of the most severe bacterial infections that can be even simply caused by a purulent tooth. Currently, the time between suspected diagnosis and targeted therapy can last up to five days, and infections with multiresistant pathogens can not be adequately treated. PathoSept is intended to open up the reliable diagnosis after nine hours, thus significantly reducing the high mortality rate, but above all the new generation and spread of multiresistant pathogens, as well as the intensive medical costs. With this an infection can be treated very early in the process and very specifically.

MERLIN has already made essential preparations for this project because we are specialized in the development, validation and marketing of various microbiological diagnostic systems for the qualitative and quantitative detection of microbial antibiotic resistance. MERLIN's diagnostic systems for quantitative susceptibility testing allow the determination of the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC value) in accordance with the normative requirements. These systems are supplemented by phenotypic detection methods for the detection of clinically and epidemiologically relevant resistance mechanisms. MERLIN also has a great expertise in the handling of antimicrobial agents, which are meaningful in the validation of the manufacture, packaging, storage and application of antibiotic-containing diagnostics. "These are core competencies that make a decisive contribution to the successful implementation of the joint research project," emphasizes Dr. Esther Pfeil.

MERLIN is continuing the development of its products and processes, taking into account sustainability as well as environmental and economic aspects, with the aim of implementing the Antibiotic Stewardship for the rational use of the anti-infectives.



MICRONAUT-S | first AST product with the new antibiotics combinations of Ceftazidim/Avibactam and Ceftolozan/Tazobactam

24.05.2016 | MICRONAUT-S MDR MRGN Screening, the updated MIC plate for the susceptibility testing of multi-resistant gramnegative bacteria (multidrug resistance phenotype), has been enriched with these new features:

  • Expanded antibiotic spectrum by introducing the new antibiotic combinations Ceftazidim / Avibactam and Ceftolozan / Tazobactam
  • Expanded antibiotic spectrum by introducing Meropenem screening concentrations for improved detection of OXA-48-like type D carbapenemases

MICRONAUT-S MDR MRGN Screening provides, based on the microdilution method, the phenotypic detection of clinically relevant resistance mechanisms in enterobacteria and nonfermenters, including the detection of cephalosporinases and carbapenemases.

MICRONAUT-S ß-Lactamases | optimized detection of OXA-48

16.03.2016 | The phenotypic detection of multiple ß-lactamases (multiple resistance determinants) in the single test system has been extended:

MICRONAUT-S β-Lactamases provides, based on the microdilution method, the phenotypic detection  of clinically relevant cephalosporinases and carbapenemases in entero-bacteria and non-fermenters.

  • Detection of OXA-48-like type D carbapenemases by the determination of high-level Temocillin resistance
  • Detection of low-level carbapenem resistance by introduction of Ertapenem / Meropenem screening concentrations

The layout of these special plates is available upon request.

The Medical Laboratory Bremen talks about ASTroID

Enhanced reproducibility and greater accuracy of results through automated, simultaneous AST and MALDI-TOF workflow

Gain a deeper insight here, why our ASTroID application is highly appreciated by the experts.