Infectious diseases are a significant burden on global economies and public health. There are indeed more deaths due to infections than cancer demonstrating that it is high time to pay attention to the escalating bacterial enemy. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) pose a serious health problem affecting millions of people each year with total cost for treatment being in billions of dollars. A large share of that expense and inappropriate use of antimicrobials comes from a 48 hours wait for the infected sample to be cultured in the laboratory and tested for antibiotic sensitivity (AST). The current study presents an ultra-rapid point-of-care system for determining AST of pathogens found in human urine leading to UTI. Sensitivity and specificity of the new test for antibiotic susceptibility was found to be 0.94 and 0.97, respectively. The results of AST using the new test are available in 4 hours as compared with 48–72 hours of conventional methods. Availability of this rapid assay will obliterate the need for empirical treatment in case of UTI-like infectious diseases and lead to specific and most appropriate treatment at the earliest ensuring healthcare to all. Further as the result of cultures are available in ∼4 hours this test facilitates de-escalation necessary for the containment of bacterial resistance, favours targeted patient therapy with reduced antimicrobial spectrum of action of prescribed antibiotics and, consequently, lowers the cost of treatment significantly.
- urinary tract infection
- point of care
- antimicrobial resistance
- rapid diagnosis
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Birla Institute of Technology and Science, BITS Pilani, India
Funding NPMASS-DRDO provided the financial support.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval Human participants and/or animals: all procedures performed in studies involving patients were in accordance with the ethical standards of BITS-Institute Human Ethical Committee (IHEC).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.