Australian scientists develop cheap and rapid way to identify antibiotic-resistant golden staph (MRSA).
A combination of off-the-shelf quantum dot nanotechnology and a smartphone camera soon could allow doctors to identify antibiotic-resistant bacteria in just 40 minutes, potentially saving patient lives.
Staphylococcus aureus (golden staph), is a common form of bacterium that causes serious and sometimes fatal conditions such as pneumonia and heart valve infections. Of particular concern is a strain that does not respond to methicillin, the antibiotic of first resort, and is known as methicillin-resistant S. aureus, or MRSA.
Recent reports estimate that 700 000 deaths globally could be attributed to antimicrobial resistance, such as methicillin-resistance. Rapid identification of MRSA is essential for effective treatment, but current methods make it a challenging process, even within well-equipped hospitals.
Soon, however, that may change, using nothing except existing technology.
Researchers from Macquarie University and the University of New South Wales, both in Australia, have demonstrated a proof-of-concept device that uses bacterial DNA to identify the presence of Staphylococcus aureus positively in a patient sample – and to determine if it will respond to frontline antibiotics.
In a paper published in the international peer-reviewed journal Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical the Macquarie University team of Dr Vinoth Kumar Rajendran, Professor Peter Bergquist and Associate Professor Anwar Sunna with Dr Padmavathy Bakthavathsalam (UNSW) reveal a new way to confirm the presence of the bacterium, using a mobile phone and some ultra-tiny semiconductor particles known as quantum dots.
“Our team is using Synthetic Biology and NanoBiotechnology to address biomedical challenges. Rapid and simple ways of identifying the cause of infections and starting appropriate treatments are critical for treating patients effectively,” says Associate Professor Anwar Sunna, head of the Sunna Lab at Macquarie University.
“This is true in routine clinical situations, but also in the emerging field of personalised medicine.”
The researchers’ approach identifies the specific strain of golden staph by using a method called convective polymerase chain reaction (or cPCR). This is a derivative of a widely -employed technique in which a small segment of DNA is copied thousands of times, creating multiple samples suitable for testing.
Vinoth Kumar and colleagues then subject the DNA copies to a process known as lateral flow immunoassay – a paper-based diagnostic tool used to confirm the presence or absence of a target biomarker. The researchers use probes fitted with quantum dots to detect two unique genes, that confirms the presence of methicillin resistance in golden staph
A chemical added at the PCR stage to the DNA tested makes the sample fluoresce when the genes are detected by the quantum dots – a reaction that can be captured easily using the camera on a mobile phone.
The result is a simple and rapid method of detecting the presence of the bacterium, while simultaneously ruling first-line treatment in or out.
Although currently at proof-of-concept stage, the researchers say their system which is powered by a simple battery is suitable for rapid detection in different settings.
“We can see this being used easily not only in hospitals, but also in GP clinics and at patient bedsides,” says lead author, Macquarie’s Vinoth Kumar Rajendran.
The paper is available here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0925400519310482#!
The Latest on: Bacterial DNA
[google_news title=”” keyword=”bacterial DNA” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Bacterial DNA
- Mooncakes recalled after finding high levels of toxin, bacteria causing food poisoningon September 28, 2023 at 6:22 am
The harmful substances were present at levels exceeding the maximum limits according to regulations. Read more at straitstimes.com.
- ‘We are just getting started’: the plastic-eating bacteria that could change the worldon September 28, 2023 at 2:46 am
When a microbe was found munching on a plastic bottle in a rubbish dump, it promised a recycling revolution. Now scientists are attempting to turbocharge those powers in a bid to solve our waste ...
- Sticking together makes bacteria nearly invincibleon September 27, 2023 at 12:15 pm
Matthew Fields, a microbiologist at Montana State University, reckons that most of the bacteria living on the planet exist in colonies. Known as biofilms, these slimy aggregates are held together by ...
- Genetically Modified Bacteria Breaks Down Plastic in Saltwateron September 26, 2023 at 11:21 am
A study by research students at North Carolina University have found a way to break down PET using a modified marine microorganism.
- Antibiotics can prolong the survival of some bacteriaon September 26, 2023 at 5:44 am
Scientists have discovered an unexpected impact of some antibiotics on some bacteria: the medications occasionally help bacteria by extending their life. Since it has long been known that antibiotics ...
- Bacterial biosensors: The future of analyte detectionon September 26, 2023 at 5:03 am
Scientists can do some nifty things with microbes, including engineering bacterial cells to sense and signal the presence of specific compounds. These microbial whole-cell biosensors have numerous ...
- Why antibiotics may not be the best option for bacterial infectionson September 25, 2023 at 12:01 pm
Antibiotics can help some bacteria survive for longer and protect them from death, research has suggested.The drugs have traditionally been used as a blanket medication for infections, as it is ...
- Antibiotics can help certain bacteria survive for longer, research suggestson September 25, 2023 at 12:00 pm
Antibiotics can help certain bacteria survive for longer, research suggests - Until now it had been thought that antibiotics kill bacteria or stop them growing.
- Researchers pioneer safe nanocarrier system for treating bacterial infectionson September 25, 2023 at 8:43 am
Antibiotic resistant bacteria are a threat to human lives, and yet the development of new drugs to treat bacterial infections is slow. A group of proven drugs used in cancer treatment for decades ...
- Antibiotics can help some bacteria survive for longeron September 24, 2023 at 5:00 pm
Scientists have found a surprising effect of some antibiotics on certain bacteria – that the drugs can sometimes benefit bacteria, helping them live longer.
via Bing News