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New method for accelerated determination of antibiotic resistance
The increase in resistance to antibiotics presents the healthcare system with an ever increasing challenge. If the problem is not brought under control soon, researchers face a horror scenario. According to an older study by the Berlin Charité, there could be around ten million deaths from multi-resistant germs by 2050. Researchers have now developed a new method for the accelerated determination of antibiotic resistance.
Which germs make the patient sick
Respiratory tract, urinary tract or wound infection, sepsis: The list of diseases typically caused by multi-resistant germs is long, the course of which is often difficult or even fatal. Antibiotics tailored precisely to the pathogen causing disease are the therapeutic route, but this is precisely where the problem lies: Tests which germs make patients sick and which antibiotics are still sensitive often take a long time. A team of researchers from the Institute of Medical Microbiology at the University of Münster has now developed a method that significantly speeds up the process.
Determine resistance characteristics faster
The new method of microbiologists led by project leader Dr. Evgeny A. Idelevich and Prof. Karsten Becker are based on MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, which is known to experts, and which is already possible to identify pathogens.
“But we also need new approaches to determine resistance characteristics more quickly. With previous methods, this usually takes more than a day because the samples first have to be grown, ”Becker said in a message.
With the help of the innovation from Münster, practitioners can select the optimal antibiotic therapy more quickly and quickly initiate hospital hygiene measures in the case of multi-resistant pathogens in order to protect other patients.
In addition, the administration of narrower-acting antibiotics reduces the selection pressure towards resistant pathogens, because doctors often administer broad-spectrum antibiotics that help many strains of bacteria to help patients as quickly as possible. However, this continues to drive the emergence of multi-resistant germs.
Test the pathogen for several antibiotics at the same time
"The MALDI-TOF method was also suitable for our research because it is extremely fast, highly specific and inexpensive," explains Idelevich.
On this basis, the scientists have developed a universal, rapid method for clarifying sensitivity, with which they can even test pathogens for several antibiotics at the same time.
Together with colleagues from the Bremen medical technology company Bruker Daltonik, they are currently refining the process and developing it to market maturity.
"We hope to have our method fit for the world's laboratories in the next two to three years," says Becker.
This project is also particularly important to him because the underlying method was also shaped by Münster scientists in the 1980s:
“With their research, the colleagues laid the foundation for today's microbiological pathogen identification. Thousands of laboratories around the world are currently using a "MALDI biotype". This creates ideal conditions for establishing our method with little effort. ”(Ad)