US scientists have developed a device to reduce the detection time of bacteria from days to just minutes. The scientific breakthrough could spell the end of over-prescribing antibiotics while patients await results.
The device uses microtechnology to trap single bacteria cells that can then be viewed under an electron microscope, allowing doctors to determine whether bacteria is present in just 30 minutes before prescribing a suitable antidote.
This approach is a radical improvement on the current lab wait time of three to five days for results. Professor Pak Kin Wong, who co-developed the device, said it could stop physicians from prescribing broad-spectrum antibiotics rather than targeting specific micro-organisms.
“We currently prescribe antibiotics even when there is no bacteria present,” Wong said to AFP.
“That is over-prescription. That is one of things we tried to express. Can we quickly determine the existence of bacterial infection?”
The breakthrough could mean wonders for the treatment of patients, as the sample can also be exposed to antibiotics to determine if the bacteria is susceptible to particular medicines or not. Urinary tract infections are the most common bacterial infections, said Wong, yet more than 75 percent of specimens sent to the lab are negative.
“Rapidly ruling out or confirming the presence of bacteria Read More – Source