50mSEK to Research on Rapid Diagnostics
The newly created research consortium “Very Fast Antibiotic Resistance Diagnostics” at Uppsala University has been awarded 50 million Swedish crowns within the program Agenda 2030 Research Centers (SSF-ARC). Four Swedish consortia got to share a total of 200 million crowns.
Our director, Dan Andersson, who is a professor in medical bacteriology at the department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology leads this research work. “We are looking forward to generating a rapid diagnostic test for antibiotic resistance infections that we believe will benefit patients soon”, says Dan.
According to the Foundation for Strategic Research (Stiftelsen för strategisk forskning -SSF-) the overarching goals of the consortium “Very Fast Antibiotic Resistance Diagnostics” is to reduce the morbidity and mortality of infections in humans and animals, reducing the use of antibiotics and development of resistance, increase the lifespan of antibiotics and obtain better clinical trials of new antibiotics with lower costs.
“Being able to reduce morbidity and mortality is of course the primary goal, and by extension, reduced antibiotic use also leads to reduced resistance development, which means that our antibiotics can continue to cure infections”, comments our director.
Advanced methods and processes
The current research method, which captures bacteria in a microfluidic chamber and measures the growth of individual cells with a microscope, results in a measure of antibiotic sensitivity.
By means of an advanced process, a general method is used to determine which bacterial species caused an infection and thereby develop a resistance profile. The time from test to answer should be one to four hours, which is must faster than the current method of choice used in the clinics.
Regarding the ongoing pandemic, could research on antibiotic resistance have somehow made us better prepared for the scenario that has now become a reality?
"Bacterial infections are often associated with viral respiratory tract infections and respiratory treatment, so working antibiotics is important to treat sequelae that come after a viral infection," says Dan Andersson.
Original article (Swedish) by Johan Alhenius, translation to English and adaptation by Eva Garmendia.