February 8, 2019 – Earlier Info
Anchor lead: A new technology may help doctors identify resistant organisms more quickly, Elizabeth Tracey reports
When a critically ill person has an infection, determining the right antibiotic and starting it right away is crucial. Yet culturing organisms and determining their sensitivity takes time, sometimes a couple of days. Now a new method developed by Pranita Tamma, an infectious disease expert, and colleagues at Johns Hopkins may be able to reduce that time period significantly.
Tamma: We used a technology called nanopore sequencing. Basically what it does is it measures the electrical current of the strand of DNA as it goes through these tiny pores called nanopores. In real time you can identify certain antibiotic resistance genes. By 14 hours we were able to detect accurately 92% of the time if resistance to specific antibiotics was present. :26
Tamma says right now only one organism has been tested this way but predicts that as the technology is improved, the method will be expanded to test many more organisms for antibiotic resistance. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.