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    Resistance is Futile: Defeating Antibiotic Overuse

    Resistance is Futile: Defeating Antibiotic Overuse

    Courtesy Photo | Continuous electrical sensing during bacterial culture. (Image courtesy of GE Global...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Chemical and Biological Technologies Department

    Experts estimate that by 2050, 10 million people will die every year due to antimicrobial resistance, unless a global response is initiated. Minor cuts, pneumonia or strep throat can become deadly diseases, and due to over-use and misuse of prescription medications, antibiotic resistance is becoming more prevalent. Currently, more than two million people in the United States contract antibiotic resistant bacterial infections each year. But, what if antibiotic resistance could quickly be determined to avoid over-prescribing or mis-prescribing medications?

    Researchers funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Chemical and Biological Technologies Department are developing a portable device that rapidly determines a pathogen’s level of resistance to antibiotics. Working with GE Global Research (GE) and Penn State University (PSU), the device will use antimicrobial sensitivity testing (AST) to determine the minimum level of antibiotics needed to prevent additional bacteria growth [Figure 1]. This effort will help maintain military readiness to aid in mission success while providing future civilian protections.

    GE and PSU integrated different methodologies to enhance individual bacteria growth in micro-channels [Figure 2] and to electronically monitor growth in the presence of antibiotics [Figure 3]. This revolutionary combination improves accuracy, portability and speed when compared to other AST technologies.

    Device creators improved sensitivity accuracy by confining individual bacteria to micro-channels for enhanced growth and detection. This type of single cell culture and analysis is one of the most accurate methods for AST since it reduces the probability of false negatives from batch cultures. Further, micro-channels remove the need for large laboratory equipment. Enhanced bacteria growth and direct electronic sensing improve speed, generating results within 30 minutes to two hours versus current result timelines of up to a week.

    Ultimately, the GE and PSU single cell AST system aligns with DTRA’s mission to protect the warfighter. Rapid and accurate identification of antibiotic resistant pathogens supports the timely deployment of effective countermeasures, which aids in protecting the force as critical biothreats continue to evolve – whether in nature or through genetic manipulation by our adversaries.



    Date Taken: 03.15.2018
    Date Posted: 03.15.2018 12:15
    Story ID: 269511
    Location: FORT BELVOIR, VA, US 

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