Test for antibiotic resistance genes provides answers within an hour
A new test can identify bacteria and whether they bear a variety of antibiotic resistance genes within one hour. The test, which analyses whole blood and uses the polymerase chain reaction, could lower the death toll of sepsis by helping to identify the best antibiotic to administer to patients with a bloodstream infection.
Now researchers at the University of California, Irvine led by Weian Zhao, have designed a PCR system that can use whole blood, meaning they do not need to culture or process the sample, something he says was impossible before. ‘It cuts out a bottleneck to get to an initial result on the presence of species-specific and susceptibility genes,’ comments Di Carlo. In addition to the massive time saving this affords, the sensitivity of this method is 10–100 times better than existing methods, credited to the three dimensional particle counting method that Zhao’s team has developed.
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