NIH Funds Nine Anti-Microbial Resistance Diagnostic Projects to Deal with ‘Super Bugs’ and Give Clinical Laboratories New Diagnostic Tools to Improve Patient Care
Lab-on-a-chip technology could reduce the time needed to identify infection-causing bacteria and for physicians to prescribe correct antibiotics
Pathology groups and medical laboratories may see their role in the patient-care process grow if researchers succeed in developing culture-independent diagnostic tools that quickly identify bacterial infections as well as pinpoint the antibiotics needed to treat them.
In the battle against antibiotic-resistant infections (AKA “super bugs”) the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is funding nine research projects aimed at thwarting the growing problem of life-threatening infections that no longer are controlled or killed by today’s arsenal of drugs.
Common Practices in Hospitals Leading to Super Bugs
Currently, when infections are suspected in hospitals or other settings where illness can quickly spread, samples are sent to a central medical laboratory where it may take up to three days to determine what germ is causing the infection. Because of that delay, physicians often prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics based on a patient’s symptoms rather than lab test results, a practice that can lead to the growth of antibiotic-resistant microbes. (more…)