New test detects antibiotic resistance in minutes

New test detects antibiotic resistance in minutes


– Say, here they are! – [Male Narrator] Ted has just seen one of the many kinds of bacteria. Bacteria are found almost
everywhere in our environment. – [Roxanne Makasdjian]
Bacteria is everywhere. The tiny organisms come in many forms: Some that keep us healthy, and others that infect us
with all kinds of diseases. We use antibiotics to kill bacteria. But with the overuse of
these drugs over times, some bacteria have evolved, producing new enzymes that help them survive an antibiotic attack. Hundreds of thousands
of people die each year because their infections
are resistant to the antibiotics that used to work. Scientists have invented
newer classes of antibiotics, but prescribing those unnecessarily helped make the problem worse. With each new antibiotic,
bacteria quickly became resistant. Doctors can use a test to
check whether a patient’s infection is resistant to an antibiotic, but the test can take several days and needs special equipment. So when that’s too inconvenient, they’ll often just fall back on prescribing the stronger drug. Now, a team at Berkely has
come up with a solution. Hi Tara
– Hi – You invented a test called
Detect, what does it do? – Detect is a simple test that helps doctors treat bacterial infections. – So tell me how it works. – We’re going after urinary
tract infections first, that’s our first target,
because it’s the most abundant bacterial infection around the world. So we typically have a urine sample that was given to a doctor, but today we’re just gonna be using these synthetic urine samples: One that was prepared with a bacteria that actually is resistant
to an antibiotic, and the other one that is
negative and has a bacteria that would be able to be
treated with an antibiotic. We just take this synthetic urine, and we add it to our Detect solution. – You just mix it, that’s all?
– Just mix it, that’s it. And then just kinda give
them a little shake, and we let them sit on a lab bench. – [Roxanne Makasdjian]
Detect is built with a bit of antibiotic in it. If the bacteria is able
to destroy the antibiotic, Detect will recognize the
remnants of that battle. – And in five minutes
we’ll have a color change. Of course if it’s positive,
it does tell you that there is a resistant bacterial
infection that’s happening. However, if it’s negative, it’s great, because then the doctor can really treat with this lower
generation antibiotic, and sparing the use of alternatives. So the hope is that we are developing a test that could be used
all around the world, that does not take any
type of instrumentation or doesn’t require electricity really, so the fact that this test is really just a color changing or visual detection, and you can know exactly how
to treat a patient will really help decrease the inappropriate use and overuse in antibiotics. – [Roxanne] The next
version of Detect will change to a red color instead of
yellow, to make it easier to see, and it should be available
to doctors in a few years.

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