CORDIS - EU research results

Rapid chip-based detection of antibiotic resistances

Project description

An innovative diagnostic method of antibiotic resistance

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is responsible for more than one million deaths worldwide. AMR is associated with the misuse and over-prescription of antibiotics. Developing fast diagnostic methods rely on bacterial cultures that are time consuming and often inefficient. A new approach was designed based on technology developed by previous ERC research to isolate bacterial RNA in minutes. The ERC-funded ResisCHIP project will develop and validate these tools combined with a rapid RNA chip array with single-molecule resolution. It will provide a tailor-made, culture-free diagnostic kit able to identify thousands of genes and pathogens from a blood sample in less than two hours, allowing the rapid selection of the best treatment.


Drug-resistant infections are one of the greatest threats facing humanity. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) causes over 700.000 deaths each year. Furthermore, AMR is associated to reduced quality of life, increased hospitalization periods and medical costs. Misuse and over-prescription of antibiotics for human or animal treatment are one of the drivers of AMR. At the same time, the development of new antibiotics is virtually nonexistent. Hence, developing fast diagnostic methods to identify the optimal treatment is key to effectively fight AMR and increase survival rates of patients encountering life-threatening infections. So far, diagnostics rely on bacterial cultures, leading to slow turnaround times, which are linked to the preventive administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics, often inefficient and leading to worse disease outcomes and spread of AMR. Novel approaches such as DNA PCR-based diagnostic panels or next generation sequencing methods have been recently proposed to address this issue. However, they are target a limited number of pathogens and genes or require expensive equipment and highly-trained personnel. Furthermore, they require a culture step to reach detection levels, usually lasting a few hours, that can be critical for serious conditions. Recently, using technology derived from ERC StG and PoC grants, we designed a method to concentrate, purify, and isolate bacterial RNA in just 5 minutes. Here, we seek to develop and validate these tools, combined with a rapid RNA chip array with single-molecule resolution, to provide a culture-free, fast, and highly sensitive alternative to bacterial infection diagnostics from direct blood samples. Once developed, ResisCHIP will provide a tailor-made diagnostic kit with the capacity to identify thousands of genes and pathogens from a blood sample in less than 2 hours, allowing the rapid selection of the best treatment, improving AMR stewardess, and becoming a significant breakthrough in AMR diagnostics.

Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 115 000,00
08193 Cerdanyola Del Valles

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Este Cataluña Barcelona
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
No data

Beneficiaries (2)