A team of researchers led by Niren Murthy, a faculty scientist in the Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology (EGSB) Division, have created a test that can identify bacteria that are resistant to certain classes of antibiotics in a matter of minutes. The results of the test help doctors prescribe the right antibiotics for each infection and could help limit the spread of antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs.’ These ‘superbugs’ actually contribute to about 700,000 deaths worldwide each year, but this new test increases patient’s chances of survival since the correct drug can be prescribed almost immediately.
This test, dubbed DETECT, is more practical than other techniques currently on the market because it does not require expensive instrumentation, is simple enough to be applied in a point-of-care setting, and the simple test provides information in a short timescale.
Tara DeBoer, a postdoctoral fellow in Murthy’s Lab at the University of California, has co-founded a company called BioAmp Diagnostics, which is working to commercialize the DETECT technology into a rapid diagnostic device.
Read more in the UC Berkeley press release.