New DNA Sequencing Device To Find Urinary Tract Infections QuicklyHealth & Wellness

September 19, 2015 18:02

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Research suggests that a new DNA sequencing device, which is of the size of a USB stick, would be able to directly detect bacteria from urine samples. The device can detect bacteria four times faster compared to traditional methods and hence, urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be treated more quickly.

The University of East Anglia (UEA) scientists say that the technology could lead to quick treatment and far better use of antibiotics, avoiding carpet-bombing. The scientist released the findings at a medical conference in San Diego.

UEA's Norwich Medical School Prof David Livermore said there was a need for a new approach to treat UTIs far beyond current "carpet-bombing".

"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.

Dr Justin O'Grady from Norwich Medical School said even resistance to antibiotics can be detected by the device.

"Swift results like these will make it possible to refine a patient's treatment much earlier - and that's good for the patient, who gets the 'right' antibiotic, and for society - which can better manage or 'steward' its limited supply of antibiotics," O'Grady said.


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