Sunday May 27, 2018

MinION, device to cure urinary tract infection

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New York: Urinary tract infections could be treated more quickly and efficiently now, using a DNA sequencing device which is similar to the size of a USB stick, says a study.

“We found that this device, which is the size of a USB stick, could detect the bacteria in heavily infected urine – and provide its DNA sequence in just 12 hours. This is a quarter of the time needed for conventional microbiology,” said one of the researchers Justin O’Grady from University of East Anglia in England.

The new device called MinION detected bacteria from urine samples four times more quickly than traditional methods of culturing bacteria.

The new method can also detect antibiotic resistance – allowing patients to be treated more effectively, the researchers said.

“Swift results like these will make it possible to refine a patient’s treatment much earlier – and that is good for the patient, who gets the ‘right’ antibiotic,” O’Grady said.

“This technology is rapid and capable not only of identifying the bacteria in UTIs (urinary tract infections), but also detecting drug-resistance at the point of clinical need,” O’Grady noted.

Professor David Livermore from University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School explained that urinary tract infections are among the most common reasons for prescribing antibiotics.

“Antibiotics are vital, especially if bacteria has entered the bloodstream, and must be given urgently. But unfortunately it takes two days to grow the bacteria in the lab and test which antibiotics kill them,” Livermore noted.

As a result, doctors must prescribe a broad range antibiotics, targeting the bacteria most likely to be responsible, and then adjust treatment once the lab results come through, he pointed out.

“This ‘carpet-bombing’ approach represents poor antibiotic stewardship, and it is vital that we move beyond it. The way to do so lies in accelerating laboratory investigation, so that treatment can be refined earlier, benefitting the patient, who gets an effective antibiotic, and society, whose diminishing stock of antibiotics is better managed,” Livermore said.

The findings were presented at an international medical conference run jointly by the American Society for Microbiology’s Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) and the International Society of Chemotherapy (ICC) at San Diego in the US.

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Study Shows That Antibacterial in Toothpaste May Combat Severe Lung Diseases

Researchers have found that a common antibacterial substance found in toothpaste may combat life-threatening diseases such as cystic fibrosis (CF) when combined with a drug.

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Researchers have found that a common antibacterial substance found in toothpaste may combat life-threatening diseases such as cystic fibrosis (CF) when combined with a drug.

The study, published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, found that when triclosan — a substance that reduces or prevents bacteria from growing — is combined with an antibiotic called tobramycin, it kills the cells that protect the CF bacteria, known as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, by up to 99.9 per cent.

CF is a common genetic disease with one in every 2,500 to 3,500 people diagnosed with it at an early age. It results in a thick mucus in the lungs, which becomes a magnet for bacteria.

These bacteria are notoriously difficult to kill because they are protected by a slimy barrier known as a biofilm, which allows the disease to thrive even when treated with antibiotics, the researcher said.

“The problem that we’re really tackling is finding ways to kill these biofilms,” said lead author Chris Waters, Professor at the Michigan State University.

Indian scientists say endosulfan damages liver, lungs, male fertility in mice
Bacteria, Wikimedia

According to the researcher, there are many common biofilm-related infections that people get such as ear infections and swollen, painful gums caused by gingivitis.

But more serious, potentially fatal diseases join the ranks of CF including endocarditis, or inflammation of the heart, as well as infections from artificial hip and pacemaker implants, the researcher added.

For the study, the researchers grew 6,000 biofilms in petri dishes, added in tobramycin along with many different compounds, to see what worked better at killing the bacteria.

Also Read: Indian scientists say endosulfan damages liver, lungs, male fertility in mice

Twenty-five potential compounds were effective, but one stood out, the researcher said.

“It’s well known that triclosan, when used by itself, isn’t effective at killing Pseudomonas aeruginosa. But when I saw it listed as a possible compound to use with tobramycin, I was intrigued. We found triclosan was the one that worked every time,” said Alessandra Hunt from the Michigan State University. (IANS)

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