Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rapid diarrhoea test saves lives

16.02.2004


Diarrhoea, a worldwide killer, could be diagnosed more rapidly thanks to a new diagnostic test devised by researchers at the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England. It is anticipated that this will lead to the development of a device capable of diagnosis at the bedside, saving both lives and money.



The new test produces a chemical fingerprint for different strains of viral and bacterial infection and allows them to be differentiated from ‘normal’ controls, according to a recent report published in the British Medical Journal ‘Gut’.

The report is the result of a two-year collaboration between Professor Norman Ratcliffe at the University of the West of England and Dr Chris Probert from the School of Medicine at the University of Bristol, who is also a Consultant Physician at Bristol Royal Infirmary.


Dr Probert said: “There are numerous kinds of infection that cause diarrhoea and it is important to ensure that the correct diagnoses is made so that the correct treatment can be prescribed. Diagnosis currently requires a microbiological stool analysis which can take up to eight days for results to be obtained. This delay is caused by the need to transport samples to an appropriate laboratory, and the time required to complete the diagnostic techniques. In extreme cases samples have been flown from Asia to the US for tests, allowing the disease to spread and kill in the meantime.

“Hospitals wards in the UK have sometimes had to close because of the fast spread of viruses that are not detected early enough for infected patients to be isolated. This causes enormous strain on hospital resources and of course it can be very expensive.”

Professor Norman Ratcliffe who leads the team of researchers at UWE explains: “This test has the potential to reduce mortality and unnecessary suffering and, crucially, the spread of infection. It has long been known that stools have distinctive and different odours if there is an infection. What we have done is to take this ‘knowledge’ a step further by analysing the odour to see if precise chemical fingerprints can be established. Put simply, the odours, or ‘volatiles’, from normal, bacterial and viral stools differ significantly in their chemical composition. By using portable instruments we can identify which volatiles are found in a stool sample in less than an hour of the sample collection being made, and use this information to make a rapid diagnosis.

“This study is about to enter its second phase where a larger population of infected samples will be analysed. The ultimate goal will be to develop a portable vapour analysis machine, capable of diagnosing at the bedside.”

This pilot project 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. Early diagnosis would lead to more appropriate use of antibiotics. Diarrhoea is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in developing countries and costs the NHS £60 million each year. Every year in England and Wales there are 15,000 cases of ‘clostridium difficile’ infection, one of the most common causes of diarrhoea, and worldwide 6,800 children die every day from diarrhoeal disease.

Cherry Lewis | alfa
Further information:
http://gut.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/53/1/58

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Scientists learn more about how gene linked to autism affects brain
19.06.2018 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht Overdosing on Calcium
19.06.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Carbon nanotube optics provide optical-based quantum cryptography and quantum computing

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

How to track and trace a protein: Nanosensors monitor intracellular deliveries

19.06.2018 | Life Sciences

New material for splitting water

19.06.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>