The investigators used a technique known as whole genome sequencing to identify and completely characterize bacteria causing urinary tract infections. In just 18 hours, they identified the culprit microorganisms, characterized the pathogens' patterns of antibiotic susceptibility, and identified specific strains.
"Using conventional methodologies this would have taken several days to weeks, and even using whole genome sequencing on cultured bacteria would have taken an extra day," says Frank M. Aarestrup of the Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, an author on the study.
Their work will help patients heal more quickly and avoid unnecessarily prolonged illness and even death. It will also help prevent outbreaks of hospital-acquired disease, and identify emerging infections.
"Rapid identification of the causative agent, and of any antibiotic resistance is crucial to choosing the correct treatment for individual patients," says Aarestrup. "Choosing the wrong antibiotic will lead to longer infections and in the worst case, deaths."
The investigators also identified bacteria in the patient samples that they did not detect using conventional techniques. "Lactobacillus iners, Gardnerella vaginalis, Prevotella, and A. urinae have all been implicated in [urinary tract infections], even though their precise roles as pathogens and normal colonizers of the genital tract have not been firmly established," write the researchers. They note that by conventional methods A. urinae is rarely identified but frequently misclassified.
The ability to identify strains in patients with repeated infections enables the doctor to know whether the patient's infection is new, or recurrent. And the typing of bacterial strains enables rapid comparison of bacteria from different patients, so that doctors can detect the spread of infections within the hospital, and identify emerging infections.
"Whole genome sequencing may still be too expensive for routine use in most clinical microbial laboratories," the researchers write. But they predict that rapidly falling prices and automation will render it a standard technology for infection detection and control, in and out of the hospital.
A copy of the manuscript can be found online at http://bit.ly/asmtip1113c.
The Journal of Clinical Microbiology is a publication of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). The ASM is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals. Its mission is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide.
Jim Sliwa | EurekAlert!
Microscope measures muscle weakness
16.11.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Good preparation is half the digestion
16.11.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Stoffwechselforschung
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
16.11.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences