The growth of E. coli on a) agar plates and b) filter papers
A new infection test, made up of sheets of paper patterned by lasers, has been developed by University of Southampton researchers to allow diagnosis at the point of care – helping doctors give patients the right treatment, faster.
Laboratory tests to identify the cause of common infections like urinary tract infections (UTIs) can take up to four days, with doctors having to use broad-action antibiotics as a first line of treatment.
This may not only be less effective than using drugs specific to the infection, but also contributes to an increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Now new research, led by Dr Collin Sones from the University of Southampton and published in Biosensors and Bioelectronics, shows a paper-based device made using lasers could allow doctors to find out which antibiotic, if any, they should give.
Cheap and easy to use
Using similar methods to existing pregnancy tests and urine dipsticks, the new technology has the potential to be cheap to produce, easy to use and could be done by a doctor or nurse on the ward – slashing diagnosis times.
The liquid sample (e.g. urine) is added to a small paper tab, which is then covered with tape to prevent drying out or contamination.
The sample then spreads across the middle paper layer, coming into contact with the four rectangles containing the test antibiotics (amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, gentamicin and nitrofurantoin).
If bacteria are present the paper will turn blue and if the infection can be treated with one of the antibiotics there will be a clear patch around the corresponding rectangle.
As well as giving doctors an early identification of bacterial infection, the test also directs which one of the four common antibiotics will work best – or if it is a strain untreatable with any of them.
When compared against standard lab tests done in petri dishes with agar gel, using artificial urine spiked with the bacteria E.coli, the team got comparable results.
A serious threat, which opens the prospect of routine procedures and infections to small cuts once again becoming potentially life threatening, antibiotic resistant infections rose by 9% in England between 2017 and 2018, with about 61,000 cases.
It occurs when bacteria evolve defences against antibiotics, usually through being exposed to the drug for too long or at too low a dose – allowing the strongest, most drug resistant, to survive and replicate.
Cutting overuse of antibiotics, particularly broad-action drugs, is critical for preventing more resistant strains emerging, keeping the drugs effective and reducing the threat to patients.
“By enabling doctors to quickly determine if an infection is caused by bacteria, and if the bacteria are resistant to four common antibiotics, this device could cut down on unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions and help fight the growing threat of antibiotic resistance,” said Dr Sones.
The Latest Updates from Bing News & Google News
Go deeper with Bing News on:
Paper-based infection test
- What is chronic wasting disease? Wildlife scientist explains the fatal prion infection killing deer and elk across North America
Chronic wasting disease, a deadly neurological infectious disease that affects deer, elk and moose, is spreading across North America. Most recently detected in North Carolina in March, CWD has been ...
- New Saliva-Based COVID-19 Test Provides Rapid Results
A test that uses a smartphone and works like a glucose reader could enable diagnosis and treatment to begin during a single office visit. It also can adapt to new COVID-19 variants.
- Mount Sinai Leveraging T-Cell-Based Technology to Determine Immune Response to SARS-CoV-2
Researchers have used qPCR to measure the transcripts from monocytes that are activated by T-cells to help understand a patient's immune status.
- McMaster researchers develop rapid test to detect infections on farm
Prototype proven effective in detecting porcine epidemic diarrhea, which was first identified in Canada in 2014.
- Stopping the spread: Researchers create rapid test for deadly infections in livestock, starting with pigs
Researchers have developed a new form of rapid test to detect infections in farm animals, responding to the rising threat of dangerous outbreaks.
Go deeper with Google Headlines on:
Paper-based infection test
Go deeper with Bing News on:
Diagnosis at the point of care
- Lung Ultrasound Performed by Primary Care Physicians in the Diagnosis of Clinically Suspected Community-Acquired Pneumonia
A lung ultrasound typically took 10 minutes or less. Due to short training programs and scan times, point-of-care lung ultrasound in primary care may efficiently assess suspected CAP (avoiding chest ...
- IVD Raw Materials Market to Reach $34.25 Billion by 2027. Molecular Point-of-Care (POC) Replacing Existing Limitations at POC sites – Arizton
growing awareness of early diagnosis and disease prevention, and rise in availability of advanced home care kits for cancer diagnostics are the major drivers in the market. Molecular Point-of-Care ...
- Point-of-care Detection of Lipoarabinomannan (LAM) in Urine for Diagnosis of HIV-associated Tuberculosis
making the possibility of immediate diagnosis and treatment a reality. This paper discusses the likely utility of this point-of-care assay and how it might best be used in combination with other ...
- Point-of-Care Lung Ultrasound Feasible for Pneumonia Diagnosis in Primary Care
THURSDAY, May 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Point-of-care lung ultrasound in primary care is feasible and useful for investigating suspected community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), according to a ...