Rapid Detection of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
New prototype device detects antibiotic-resistant bacteria in five hours
Olivia Gaskill | | Quick Read
Where would we be without antibiotics? They are a pinnacle of modern medicine – but overprescription and overuse have left the door open for antibiotic-resistant bacteria. With bacterial infections still one of the world’s biggest health problems, we need a solution – and fast.
Slow turnaround times for identifying these bacteria is just one barrier to that solution, with standard methods taking up to two days – increasing hospital stays, mortality rate, and cost of care. With this in mind, researchers at Binghamton University built a prototype diagnostic device that combines papertronics with biology based on the principle of bacterial electron transfer (1). Their technique eliminates the need to monitor bacterial growth, yielding a turnaround time of only five hours. As a point-of-care diagnostic tool, the device could reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions, especially in resource-limited areas – closing the door on antimicrobial resistance.
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- Y Gao et al., Biosens Bioelectron, 168, 112518 (2020). PMID: 32862095.