New Test Produces Fast Results in Identifying Bacteria-resistant Antibiotics

Article

A rapid test under development in Europe could go a long way in helping doctors in hospitals identify strains of pathogens that would be resistant to commonly used broad-spectrum antibiotics.

A rapid test under development in Europe could go a long way in helping doctors in hospitals identify strains of pathogens that would be resistant to commonly used broad-spectrum antibiotics.

The test is being developed at the University of Fribourg by Patrice Nordmann and Laurent Poirel of the Medical and Molecular Microbiology Unit of the National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Paris.

Nordmann hopes the test will determine within 2 hours whether a particular medication is resistant to Acinetobacter baumannii. The test was developed in part because “bacterial resistance to antibiotics has increased considerably,” the authors wrote, noting that drugs like cephalosporins and carbapenems are already losing their effectiveness against various strains of bacteria.

The study results also indicated that close to 25,000 people in Europe alone have died for reasons related to multi-resistant antibiotics. Fortunately, the time it takes to get results from the new test is considerably faster than the 24 hours it takes some tests to get the same results, or the 72 hours it can take for other test results to be analyzed.

Nordmann’s team said results from the new test are close to 100% accurate, so the use of the test can help prevent serious outbreaks at hospitals, which can cause a patient’s condition to further deteriorate, rather than improve.

“This new test also provides a guide in the choice between the very few remaining treatment options for infected patients,” the report concluded.

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