Antibiotic resistance is a growing health concern owing to the incorrect use of antibiotics for treatment. The problem can only be counteracted by reliable, quick, and easy methods for determination of bacterial resistance patterns and providing the right antibiotic from the beginning. But the current methods take too long to determine the antibiotic resistance.
Therefore, researchers at Uppsala University have developed a test to rapidly determine the resistance or susceptibility of bacteria to antibiotics. The test initially determined for urinary tract infections enables the patients to take home the right antibiotic right after the first appointment with the doctor.
“The new method allows determination of bacterial resistance patterns in urinary tract infections in 10 to 30 minutes as compared to the current methods that require one to two days,” says Ph.D. student Ozden Baltekin, who performed most of the experimental work.
This method is based on sensitive optical and analytical techniques to study the behaviour of individual bacteria. Monitoring whether individual bacteria grow in the presence or absence of antibiotics reveals their resistance or susceptibility within few minutes.
“Astrego Diagnostics AB is now developing this method into a user-friendly product that could be used in the hospitals and health centres for rapid determination of antibiotic resistance and reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics,” says Dan Andersson, one of the researchers behind this study. He further believes in the utility of the method for other infections like blood where the correct and prompt choice of antibiotic is more crucial for the patient.