We are seeing the emergence globally of new
forms of bacteria that are effectively untreatable. Each year,… more than two million people
are infected with drug-resistant superbugs. It can take precious hours for conventional
tests to determine whether a particular anti-biotic will work on a certain bacteria, but researchers
here in Korea believe they′ve found a way to slash that time and hopefully save lives.
Kim Hyun-bin reports. More and more bacteria are becoming resistant
to existing antibiotics. It′s requiring some patients to stay in
the hospital longer, while others are even losing their lives because they miss the golden
time for treatment. In order to choose the right antibiotics,
doctors expose collected bacteria to various drugs to see which ones they are sensitive
to. The problem is that it takes at least 16 hours
to get an answer. A team of researchers at Seoul National University
developed a new test method that requires only four hours to find out which antibiotics
work best. Unlike the traditional test method that relied
solely on cell cultures, this new way uses a plastic chip that immobilizes each bacterial
cell in a thick gel, allowing easy analysis on the changes they undergo under various
antimicrobial conditions. “Traditional tests rely on the number of bacteria
and that takes a relatively a long time, but the new test method shows individual cells
dividing and changing shapes, which is a lot more accurate.”
The local medical industry hopes this new test method will be helpful in urgent cases
of infection and antibiotic resistance. The research results were published in this
month′s online edition of ′Science Translational Medicine′.
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.