“Rapid test helps administer the correct antibiotic”

“Scientists at the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technologies (Leibniz-IPHT), Center for Sepsis Control and Care at the University Hospital Jena and Friedrich Schiller University are working on a faster and cheaper alternative for hitherto time consuming pathogen diagnostics.

Project manager and professor Ute Neugebauer illustrates the advantages of this new approach: “We combine light-based analytical methods with microfluidic sample processing. With our Lab-on-a-Chip system, thus a miniaturised lab, we are able to clearly identify bacterial strains and their resistances, in less than three hours.”

Standard practices for the infectious diagnostics require up to 72 hours to allow for a reliable result. This is due to the fact, that the number of pathogens in a patients sample is too small to conduct tests. Analysis is therefore only possible after time-consuming cultivation. Especially in clinical application during treatments of severe infections e.g. a sepsis time is a crucial factor. Physicians are confronted with an alarming dilemma: “Far too often we have to administer broad-spectrum antibiotics blindly because we can neither analyse pathogen nor potential resistances. Therefore, we possibly use a sledge-hammer to crack a nut. A vicious cycle that aides the development of new resistances,” explains professor Michael Bauer, director of the Clinic of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care at the University Hospital Jena.”

Source: Infection Control Today

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