Faster Way to Test Effectiveness of Antibiotics

Doctors are able to determine how effective a drug will react against bacteria. The method uses an imaging system that helps doctors identify quickly and accurately the susceptibility of bacteria to antibiotics, and reduces waiting times of about 16 hours down to four.

This is useful because it can offer a more personalized and effective treatment plan to patients. At the same time, it reduces the possibility of drug resistance due to overuse and misuse of antibiotics, which is becoming a big problem.

Many strains of bacterium have become resistant to drugs, and the detection of the success of an antibiotic is between 16 and 20 hours.

A team of researchers at the Seoul Institute of Basic Sciences (South Korea) designed a test called morphological analysis of a single cell which tracks the growth of bacterial cells individually.

A camera captures images of each span of the cells, and how they change shape in response to an antibiotic.

The device was tested on four typical bacterial strains and 200 supplied hospital samples reports Ivan Ong.

The results showed that compared to the current system, the new morphological analysis achieved the same levels of accuracy, but in only three or four hours. This research is published in ‘Science Translational Medicine’.