Research finds new device to detect antibiotic resistant bacteria


Bacterial infections are one of the biggest health problems across the world. To add to the problem, COVID-19 patients are more vulnerable to acquire secondary bacterial infection, says a recent study.

In fact, combating the infection is no easy task. When antibiotics are prescribed carelessly and excessively, antibiotic-resistant genes emerge and spread rapidly in bacteria, to create even larger problem.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the U.S., each year, 2.8 million antibiotic resistant infections are recorded, and more than 35,000 deaths recorded related to them.

Shortcomings of conventional bacterial infection testing methods press for effective one

Practically, the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria is slowed due to the amount of time needed to test it. In the conventional method, extracted bacteria from a patient is compared to lab grown bacteria with and without antibiotics. However, diagnostics can take one to two days, increasing the mortality rate, length of hospital stay, and overall cost of care.

Meanwhile, research for faster way of testing bacteria for antibiotic resistance is underway. “For effective treatment of infections, the right selection of antibiotics is required with the exact dose for appropriate duration,” said the researcher associated with the research.

Earlier, in the past few years, the researcher has developed several projects that intersects papertronics with biology. The development of biobatteries using human sweat is one.

The new research is published in the November issue of Biosensors and Bioelectronics. The basis of the research is same as that of principles in batteries: Bacterial electron transfer, overall cell maintenance, a chemical process that certain microorganism employ for growth, and information exchange with surrounding microorganisms.

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