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A rapid test for resistance to last-resort antibiotics
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A simple and quick test can tell whether bacteria are resistant to a class of antibiotics called carbapenems — drugs that are typically only used as a last ditch effort at killing superbugs that are impervious to all other antibiotics.
A team from the East China University of Science and Technology synthesized a molecule with the same structure as the carbapenems and attached a fluorescent dye to it. In the presence of bacteria that harbour enzymes that break the antibiotic apart and render it inactive, this molecule is cleaved and the dye emits an intense green colour when irradiated with light at a certain wavelength.
The researchers performed several tests to show that their assay is specific to carbapenem-resistance. Because it works in minutes, the assay could be used in clinical settings to rapidly diagnose infections and help doctors decide the appropriate drugs to prescribe.
The findings were published in the journal Angewandte Chemie.
- Angewandte Chemie 56, 4468–4472 (2017). doi: 10.1002/anie.201612495
|State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, ECUST, China||0.50|
|Shanghai Key Laboratory of New Drug Design, ECUST, China||0.50|