Wednesday March 20, 2019

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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High Levels of Bacteria Found in Raw Meat Dog Foods, Says Study

Dogs should not be fed raw meat products while being treated with antibiotics as this could increase the risk of antibiotic resistance

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Gut Bacteria.
Gut Bacteria. Pixabay

Feeding your pooch with raw meat could pose potential health risks as they contain high levels of bacteria, researchers have warned.

A study by researchers from the University of Agricultural Sciences in Sweden showed that many raw meat products contain enterobacteriaceae species, which are indicators of faecal contamination and hygiene standards.

Such food products can also cause health risks to people, particularly infants, elderly and those with poor immunity, the study said.

A raw meat-based diet has become increasingly popular with dogs in recent years because it is seen as a “healthier natural alternative” to the widely available commercial products.

But unlike commercial feeds, raw meat products are not heat treated or freeze dried to pasteurise, the research team added.

For the study, published in the journal Vet Record, researchers took samples from 60 packs of raw meat samples that were analysed for bacteria, including enterobacteriaceae species — clostridium perfringens, salmonella and campylobacter.

Family walk with dog. Pixabay

Nearly 31 samples (52 per cent) contained bacteria levels that exceeded the 5,000 bacteria per gram maximum threshold set by the European Union regulations, said the study.

Escherichia coli was found in about a third of the samples. Clostridium perfringens, another marker of faecal contamination and hygiene standards, was found in 18 samples (30 per cent).

In addition, salmonella species were found in four (seven per cent) of the 60 samples, while campylobacter species were found in three samples from three different manufacturers.

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Dogs should not be fed raw meat products while being treated with antibiotics as this could increase the risk of antibiotic resistance, the researchers noted.

“Bacteria such as escherichia coli and salmonella can cause significant gastrointestinal disease in animals,” said Daniella Dos Santos, Junior Vice-President at the British Veterinary Association.

“We would advise any pet owner wanting to try a raw meat-based diet to first consult a veterinary surgeon,” Santos said. (IANS)