Researchers in Taiwan and the US have developed a device that uses the volatile organic compounds released by bacteria to identify the bacteria as they are cultured. When fully developed, this single-step gadget could trump the speed of current clinical techniques.
Sepsis and other bloodstream infections are very dangerous and need immediate treatment. It is therefore essential to detect microorganisms in human blood quickly to decide the most effective treatment.
Blood cultures are currently used to detect if bacteria are present in a patient’s blood. This takes 24 hours or more just to reveal if a sample contains bacteria. Further tests reveal the identity of the bacteria and show which antibiotics can kill them. This multi-step process can take several days, and in the meantime patients are often treated with antibiotics presumptively, which can induce side effects in the patient as well as antibiotic resistance in the bacteria.
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Single step, rapid identification of pathogenic microorganisms in a culture bottle
Yu W. Chu, Bo Y. Wang, David A. Engebretson and James R. Carey
Analyst, 2013, Advance Article