30-minute antibiotic susceptibility test
Treating infections promptly and effectively is crucial to combating the global threat of antimicrobial resistance and providing the best healthcare. However, current antimicrobial testing takes long enough to warrant the use of a broad-spectrum antibiotic as first-line treatment. This not only aggravates the resistance problem, but can also lead to patient overexposure to possibly ineffective antibiotics.
Research into the use of using a microfluidic chip to test antibiotic susceptibility of bacteria has found promising results. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (August 2017), the research focused on measuring the growth rate of bacterial cells causing Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). Using 49 uropathogenic Escherichia coli isolates with known ciprofloxacin resistance or susceptibility, the test was able to correctly determine susceptibility with 100% accuracy and distinguish the biological response to nine different antibiotics, each within 10 minutes.
It was concluded that this demonstrates the development of a point-of-care test, to guide antibiotic prescribing for UTIs within 30 minutes, could be achieved.
Could this be a step in the right direction in our fight against resistance?
Baltekina Ö, Boucharina A, Tanob E. et al. Antibiotic susceptibility testing in less than 30 min using direct single-cell imaging. 2017. PNAS;34(114):9170–9175
The Pharmaceutical Journal. New test determines antibiotic susceptibility in less than 30 minutes. 2017. Clinical Pharmacist; 9(10) Available at: https://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/news-and-analysis/research-briefing/new-test-determines-antibiotic-susceptibility-in-less-than-30-minutes/20203664.article# [Accessed: 5/12/17]