Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Discovery of chemical profiles for infectious diarrhoea

22.05.2007
Academics from the Universities of the West of England and Bristol have found that faeces from healthy people and those with infectious diarrhoea differ significantly in their chemical composition and could be used to diagnose quickly diseases such as Clostridium difficile (C. Diff.).

It is hoped the discovery of these chemical profiles will lead to the development of an electronic device capable of rapid diagnosis at the bedside, saving both time and money.

The study has just been published online in The FASEB Journal. It is the result of a collaboration between Dr Chris Probert, Consultant and Reader in Gastroenterology at Bristol University and Professor Norman Ratcliffe at the University of the West of England.

For a long time it has been known that stools have distinctive and different odours if there is an infection. What the researchers have done is to take this 'knowledge' a step further by analysing the odour of faeces from healthy donors and comparing it with patients with gastrointestional disease to see if precise chemical profiles can be established.

The researchers found that the faeces of patients with ulcerative colitis, Campylobacter jejuni and Clostridium difficile (C. Diff.) all had significantly different chemical compositions.

Dr Chris Probert said: "The discovery of chemical profiles is a major step forward in the diagnosis and treatment of people with gastrointestinal disease. Early treatment of Clostridium difficile means patients have a much better chance of survival and fewer complications. However, at present the average length of time taken to diagnose the condition is eight days. "

The next stage of the academics' research is to develop a prototype rapid diagnosis device able to be operated by healthcare staff at all levels.

Professor Norman Ratcliffe, of UWE's Centre for Research in Analytical, Materials and Sensors Science, said: "There are numerous different kinds of infection that cause diarrhoea and a speedy diagnosis would lead to more appropriate use of antibiotics. A rapid diagnosis device has the potential to save lives and reduce the cost burden to the NHS. Early isolation of infectious patients would reduce hospital outbreaks leading to fewer ward/hospital closures."

Two of the most common types of infectious diarrhoea are Campylobacter jejuni and Clostridium difficile (C. Diff.). Although less well known than the MRSA superbug, C. Diff. is just as serious, and affects more than 50,000 people each year in England and Wales at a cost to the NHS of around £60 million.

Dr Chris Probert added: "There is a huge potential for a rapid diagnosis device in the UK - 30,000 samples are tested in Bristol alone each year. However, the device could be adapted for use in developing countries where 7,000 children die as a result of diarrhoea every day. Our next aim is to produce a prototype device capable of diagnosing in any healthcare setting."

"Rapid diagnosis of intestinal illnesses is as useful a contribution to public health as one could imagine," said Gerald Weissman, M.D., editor-in-chief of the FASEB Journal. "The method developed by Garner et al is not only useful, but also imaginative."

Last year the team were awarded £353,000 by the Wellcome Trust under their University Translation Award scheme and this study is funded by the grant, which is part of a three-year project.

Lesley Drake | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uwe.ac.uk

Further reports about: Clostridium Diff Infectious diagnosis diarrhoea difficile

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers develop eco-friendly, 4-in-1 catalyst
25.04.2017 | Brown University

nachricht Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017
25.04.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>