New rapid test to detect antibiotic resistance could be on the horizon

  • University of Bristol
  • 28 Aug 2019

  • curated by Pavankumar Kamat
  • UK Medical News
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Scientists are trialling a new test which could potentially identify whether bacterial isolates exhibit antibiotic resistance in less than two hours.

The new rapid antimicrobial susceptibility test has been developed by researchers at Vitamica, a spin-out company of University of Bristol, using the technology developed at the University of Bristol's School of Physics. The test is currently being trialled on antibiotics commonly used to treat urinary tract infections.

The test utilises a novel optical technology to visualise the interior of bacterial cells and detect minute movements indicating whether the cells are alive and resistant to antibiotics. Bacteria exposed to an effective antibiotic will exhibit alterations in the movements within a few minutes, thereby helping clinicians in quickly determining the viability of a particular antibiotic.

Dr Paul Meakin who heads Vitamica said: "The exciting news is that we have produced promising results for a range of antibiotics commonly used to treat urinary infections. We now need to extend this testing to bacteria in other samples such as blood where sepsis is a real threat to life.”