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Developing a rapid diagnostic kit for antibiotic resistance

Project description

Innovative antimicrobial resistance diagnostic kit

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global epidemic that results in over 700 000 deaths annually. AMR not only increases morbidity and prolongs hospital stays but also leads to substantial medical expenses. While bacterial cultures are the conventional diagnostic method for AMR, they have significant limitations. Alternative systems like DNA sequencing have emerged but require expensive equipment and specialised personnel. To address these challenges, the EU-funded ResisTEST project aims to leverage expertise in molecular biology to propose a rapid and highly sensitive AMR detection method. Once further developed into a diagnostic kit, this method will enable the isolation and real-time monitoring of the expression of various resistance genes without requiring prior knowledge of the pathogen.

Objective

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become a worldwide epidemic, causing more than for 700.000 deaths per year globally, expected to rise to 10 million deaths annually, by 2050. AMR is associated with an increase in morbidity, longer hospitalization time and a marked increase in the associated medical costs. While several attempts are being enforced to reduce the misuse and abuse of antibiotics, we are in dire needs of methods to rationalize the use of antibiotics. Currently, bacterial cultures are the staple diagnostic method of AMR. However, this method presents important drawbacks, such as a long turnaround time, which can be up to two weeks for some bacterial strains, low sensitivity, and the requirement to have, at least to a certain degree, prior information on the putative causative bacteria. All in all, these factors lead to the administration of wide-spectrum antibiotics in the meantime, leading to inefficient treatments, antibiotic changes and AMR occurrences. Hence, it is critical developing novel diagnostic methods offering a faster, high-sensitive alternative to bacterial cultures, the staple in AMR diagnostics. While several systems, such as DNA sequencing, are currently being developed, they require costly equipment and specialized training, limiting its use. In this regard, in ResisTEST we take advantage of our expertise in molecular biology and the knowledge and technology developed in an ERC StG to propose a fast, high-sensitive AMR detection approach that, once further developed into a diagnostic kit, will allow the isolation and real-time monitoring of the expression of different resistance gene without the need of prior knowledge on the pathogen. Therefore, this disruptive approach could represent a significant breakthrough in the fight against AMR, allowing to define, with unprecedented precision, the antibiotic of choice for the treatment of infections where AMR is suspected.

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Coordinator

UNIVERSITAT AUTONOMA DE BARCELONA
Net EU contribution
€ 150 000,00
Address
Edif a campus de la uab bellaterra cerdanyola v
08193 Cerdanyola del valles
Spain

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Region
Este Cataluña Barcelona
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Links
Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (1)