Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fast way of spotting multi-drug resistant bacteria could help stop outbreaks in hospitals

28.11.2007
A type of bacterium widely found on our skin and in the environment has now become a major threat in hospitals where it can cause serious infections, such as pneumonia in severely ill patients. Like the well known bacterium MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) the new types of Acinetobacter baumannii are resistant to nearly all antibiotics, so doctors have very few treatments available, and three resistant strains are currently circulating in the UK.

A molecular method designed by the Health Protection Agency has been successfully implemented by medical researchers at the Royal Free Hospital, part of the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust, as a quick and accurate means of identifying which strain of the bacterium is infecting a patient, scientists heard today (Wednesday 28 November 2007) at the Federation of Infection Societies Conference 2007 at the University of Cardiff, UK, which runs from 28-30 November 2007.

“Some of these new strains of Acinetobacter baumannii, known as epidemic clones, can spread rapidly and widely between patients and have the potential to cause outbreaks”, says Kerry Williams of the Royal Free Hospital. “We currently encounter two of them at our hospital, so we need a reliable and rapid means of identifying and discriminating between the different clones. We can now get a result from a patient’s sample in just four hours. The test also allows us to predict how likely we are to be facing an outbreak”.

The drug resistant strains of the bacteria are especially dangerous in intensive care units where, as well as causing pneumonia, they can infect wounds or cause urinary tract infections such as cystitis.

“Like MRSA, Acinetobacter baumannii can be found on the skin without actually causing an infection, this is known as colonisation. The new test is important because it means we can rapidly identify patients who are colonised with drug resistant strains of the bacteria so that special infection control measures can be put in place. The patient can quickly be isolated if necessary”, says Miss Williams. “This reduces the risk of transmission to other patients and the possibility of an outbreak occurring. The ability to distinguish between the clones circulating is also important because it allows us to monitor transmission in our hospital”.

Currently all the Royal Free Hospital strains of bacteria are sent to a reference laboratory for typing by a method called pulsed field gel electrophoresis. The new test, called multiplex-PCR, gives results comparable to the ones produced by the reference laboratory.

The multiplex-PCR, based on identifying unique gene sequences in the bacteria, has the potential to be developed as a rapid screening tool for intensive care units in other parts of the country. It should eventually lead to better patient management with faster and more appropriate treatments for individuals and prompt control of infections to reduce the risk of transmission to other patients.

Lucy Goodchild | alfa
Further information:
http://www.sgm.ac.uk
http://www.fis2007.org.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

nachricht Stem cell transplants: activating signal paths may protect from graft-versus-host disease
20.04.2017 | Technische Universität München

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: 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 >>>