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Confront antibiotic resistance with a better diagnostic system

To slow down the rise of non-curable infections, a Dutch company developed a diagnostic kit to identify strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The World Health Organization (WHO) warns citizens for several years now: many antibiotics are becoming useless to heal bacterial infections. Indeed, bacteria develop new defence mechanisms to resist the action of antibiotics. By accurate detection of these resistance mechanisms, prescription of useless antibiotics can be avoided. Instead, an appropriate antibiotic treatment can be prescribed to cure the patient. A precise diagnosis contributes also to avoid the spread of resistant bacteria and the rise of new resistance mechanisms. Supposing all infections were treated with personalized antibiotic treatments, bacteria would have less room to evolve or to spread. To tackle these challenges, the Dutch company PathoFinder ( strives to provide an on-time delivery and dependable diagnostic system. The kit will allow to identify antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria from a unique sample. This new kit addresses the need of hospitals, where time and precision are valuable. The kit, a PCR multiplex, can identify over 25 of the most important resistance gene families, namely carbapenemases, extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBL), plasmid-mediated cephalosporinases (pAmpC) and plasmid-mediated colistin resistance genes. PathoFinder, accredited of the ISO 13485, benefits from a long experience in medical devices' design. This time, the team innovates with a multiplex that runs on standard laboratory equipments. About 3 years and a half were needed for the multiplex to be conceived. Later in 2017, the multiplex will enter clinical validation. It will need a few more official certifications before entering the market. The company PathoFinder was supported by a European consortium of academic and private research groups. Indeed, the Dutch company participates in the PneumoNP project ( The rapid development of the multiplex would not be possible without the contribution of their partners. Together they engage against the rise of antibiotic resistance. In this framework, PathoFinder contributes by improving usage of antibiotics with the development of the diagnostic kit.


Antibiotic Resistance, Diagnostics, Medical device, Multiplex, Clinical trials, PCR



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