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Scientists are developing a low cost, rapid diagnostic sensor test which aims to show the susceptibility of bacteria to antibiotics within 45 minutes.
NHS laboratory testing of samples can take up to two days and the new test aims to allow doctors to be able to prescribe the correct antibiotic to a patient for an infection more quickly.
Research - Paper - Journal - Biosensors - Bioelectronics
In a research paper published in the journal Biosensors and Bioelectronics, the University of Strathclyde team has demonstrated the system is capable of showing results in less than 45 minutes.
The scientists examined the difference in growth profiles between the common hospital acquired bacterial infections, Staphylococcus aureus, most strains of which are sensitive to antibiotics, and the drug resistant strain, MRSA, which is resistant to several widely used antibiotics and can be harder to treat.
Strains - Electrodes - Hydrogel - Deposit - Growth
Both strains were placed onto electrodes covered in a special hydrogel deposit which monitored bacterial growth and which also contained antibiotics.
Results showed that the susceptible strain can grow on electrodes modified with gel containing no antibiotic, but could not grow when the sensor was seeded with antibiotic. However, due to its antibiotic resistance, the MRSA strain was still able to grow on the electrodes which contained clinically relevant concentrations of antibiotics.
Paper - Author - Dr - Stuart - Hannah
The paper's lead author, Dr. Stuart Hannah, said: "There is a small difference between what makes an organism susceptible to an antibiotic and what makes it resistant.
"In real terms, we were able to distinguish between the two strains in less than 45 minutes, which is a significant improvement on the current gold standard of up to two days.
Technology - Cost - Sensor - Culture - Dish
"The technology uses a low cost, commercially available sensor which acts like a mini culture dish that can deal with any kind of clinical sample.
"The system is modified with a special gel deposit so that we can identify the difference between susceptible and resistant...
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