Inexpensive Lab Tests Identify Resistant Infections Rapidly

Researchers from the Oregon State Public Health Lab have modified the protocol for a relatively new test for a dangerous form of antibiotic resistance, increasing its specificity to 100 percent. The research, confirming the reliability of a test that can provide results in hours and is simple and inexpensive enough to be conducted in practically any clinical laboratory was presented at the 54th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, an infectious disease meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, held in Washington, D.C. September 5-9, 2014. The test, called Carba NP, originally developed by Drs. Patrice Nordmann and Laurent Poirel at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and Dr. Laurent Dortet of the University Hospital of the South-Paris Medical School, France, allows for rapid identification of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), often referred to in the media as "super bugs" for their ability to resist most major antibiotics. Carbapenems (see image) are an important class of powerful antibiotics for treating severe infections caused by multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria. Carbapenemases are enzymes produced by some bacteria which inactivate these antibiotics. "Over the past decade carbapenemase-producing CRE (CP-CRE) have rapidly spread around the globe and are currently considered an urgent public health threat by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)," says Dr. Karim Morey of the Oregon State Public Health Lab, an author on the study.
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