The scientists at the University of Bath states that the test can help fight the global threat of antibiotics resistance.
Fremont, CA: The researchers at the University of Bath have formulated a simple point-of-care examination for urinary tract infections which uses a smartphone camera. This system can very quickly detect the presence of E. coli in urine samples. It could help the doctors in their decision to prescribe antibiotics, ensuring appropriate patient care, and avoiding the overuse antimicrobial medication. It can be not very easy at times for the clinicians to know whether to prescribe antibiotics. The unnecessary usage of antibiotics is leading in antimicrobial resistance, which has the potential to pose substantial challenges to healthcare in the coming years. However, if a patient is suffering from an infection like urinary tract infection (UTI), then antibiotics are with a question warranted. Still, then it can also be difficult for a clinician to be sure if a disease causes the patient’s symptoms.
At present, the bacterial infections in UTI are confirmed through microbiological testing of a urine sample. This test is accurate, but very time consuming it can take several days to give the results. Therefore giving medical professionals the ability to rule in quickly or rule out certain conditions will enable them to treat the patients faster and help them to make better decisions about the prescription of antibiotics.
A new device that contains a plastic strip with microcapillaries has been developed, over which a user can pass urine sample. The antibiotics present in the device will bind the bacteria like E. coli, in the urine, immobilizing them. Then an enzyme causes the color to change, which can be seen leveraging a smartphone camera. The system can evaluate the resulting image and indicate the level of concentration of bacteria in the sample.
This process is less time consuming and takes under 245 minutes to give the results; this can be a game-changer in remote or low-resource regions, where getting access to labs is impossible. This device can also be useful in surgeries and clinics in the developed areas as it can help a doctor in a clinic to make an informed decision about an individual’s treatment, and can help in reducing unnecessary antibiotic usage.
It is not much to say that smartphone solves one of the biggest problems of the decentralizing of diagnostics because their capabilities are in a real sense very sophisticated in certain conditions.