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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Low Cost Device for Rapid testing of Antibiotic Resistance developed in India by BITS professor & her student

Contributed by Akilesh. R and A.J. Tamhankar

A low Cost Device for Rapid testing of Antibiotic Resistance developed in India by BITS professor Dr. Suman Kapur and her student Anuradha P

World Health Organization (WHO) considers antibiotic resistance as one of the three greatest public health threats today. Ensuring availability of effective antibiotics is a highly prioritized area for low- and middle-income countries, where the infectious disease burden is high and access to healthcare is not easy and also not affordable for many.
Antibiotics are a prerequisite for a functioning health system and we need to slow down the development and spread of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Antibiotic use is recognized as the main driver for antibiotic resistance, therefore a prudent use of antibiotics at the prescriber and patient level is very important. If proper methods and technologies are not developed for efficient antibiotic use, healthcare will be severely affected

Point of Care Testing (POCT) for accurate and timely detection of bacterial infections and their resistance patterns will improve patient outcomes for common serious infections and will also facilitate prudent antibiotic use. Doctors currently prescribe antibiotics empirically based on symptoms and not on actual microbial infection testing. Many a times antibiotics are prescribed, that are wrong or are may be not required or the patient is overdosed, resulting in unnecessary exposure of the microbe to antibiotics and starting development of resistance. 

Prof. Dr Suman Kapur, from BITS Pilani, Hyderabad has developed an indigenous low cost chip for detection of antibiotic resistance of urinary pathogens with funding from NPMASS-DRDO. This device can give results on antibiotic sensitivity within a period of 2 hours as against the conventional assay technique that requires 2-3 days for such results.

This device can be used anywhere including bedside. This technology when available for routine use, can result in a drastic decrease in use of empiric antibiotics which can be a great step towards elimination of antibiotic resistance.

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