Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Biosensor Brings Us One Step Closer to Fighting Superbugs

Published: Monday, May 13, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, May 13, 2013
Bookmark and Share
JoVE has published research that demonstrates how a biosensor can detect antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

This new technology is a preliminary step in identifying and fighting superbugs, a major public health concern that has led to more deaths than AIDS in the United States in recent years.  The technology is the result of collaboration between Dr. Vitaly Vodyanoy at Auburn University and the Keesler Air Force Base with funding from the United States Air Force.

Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch first characterized antibiosis, the ability for a chemical to kill bacterial cells, in 1877.  Since then, the medical and biochemical communities have made great advances in the treatment of bacterial infections.  These advances have helped reduce childhood mortality and have contributed to the population growth of the 20th Century.  However, natural selection has allowed antibiotic resistant bacteria to flourish and propagate, and continued exposure has lead to the evolution of "superbugs" that are resistant to multiple types of antibiotics.

"Antibiotic resistant bacteria is a serious problem," Dr. Vodyanoy says. "It is very important [when treating a patient] to distinguish between normal and resistant bacteria; if you have a case of resistance you have to take special measures to cure it."

Dr. Vodyanoy's technology takes advantage of bacteriophages, simple viruses that can target and kill bacteria.  A bacteriophage, when combined with specific antibodies, can be used to produce a physical color change in a sample that indicates antibiotic resistance. This technology will be invaluable to clinicians trying to treat patients and disinfect hospital facilities.

Specifically, this technique targets antibiotic resistant Staphylococcus, one of the first pathogens characterized as a superbug.  Staphylococcus, commonly referred to as staph, often is a bothersome skin condition cured with common antibiotics. However, variations of the staph bacteria can turn deadly when infecting immune-compromised patients or internal organs like lungs and the respiratory tract.  The disease is of particular concern to hospitals, prisons, and branches of the military, where individuals are at risk for infection from unhygienic close quarters.

"In our method, we can determine bacterial antibiotic resistance in 10-12 minutes, while other methods take hours," Dr. Vodyanoy explains.  Alternative methods used to detect antibiotic resistance need time-intensive purification steps before multi-hour sequencing protocols. "We envision a future where clinicians do tests with real blood or saliva samples. The virus is completely benign to humans, and we hope to use it to make antimicrobial surfaces and glassware that kill the bacteria."

"Our technique is complex and involves many steps and disciplines. It is very difficult to visualize when you read a paper, and we felt it would be very beneficial and educational to publish [in JoVE]," Dr. Vodyanoy says of publishing in the world's first video journal. "We are interested in someone else reproducing our results; this technology can be used on a larger scale and for antibiotic resistance other than Staphylococcus."


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,400+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Cancer research Implies Future for Personalized Medicine, Reduction in Animal Testing
JoVE, the Journal of Visualized Experiments, has published two new methods for scientists to study and treat tumor growth.
Thursday, August 08, 2013
Scientific News
Releasing Cancer Cells for Better Analysis
A new device developed at the University of Michigan could provide a non-invasive way to monitor the progress of an advanced cancer treatment.
Releasing Cancer Cells for Better Analysis
A new device developed at the University of Michigan could provide a non-invasive way to monitor the progress of an advanced cancer treatment.
Apricot Kernels Pose Risk of Cyanide Poisoning
Eating more than three small raw apricot kernels, or less than half of one large kernel, in a serving can exceed safe levels. Toddlers consuming even one small apricot kernel risk being over the safe level.
Cell Transplant Treats Parkinson’s in Mice
A University of Wisconsin—Madison neuroscientist has inserted a genetic switch into nerve cells so a patient can alter their activity by taking designer drugs that would not affect any other cell.
Understanding Female HIV Transmission
Glowing virus maps points of entry through entire female reproductive tract for first time.
Genetic Markers Influence Addiction
Differences in vulnerability to cocaine addiction and relapse linked to both inherited traits and epigenetics, U-M researchers find.
Lab-on-a-Chip for Detecting Glucose
By integrating microfluidic chips with fiber optic biosensors, researchers in China are creating ultrasensitive lab-on-a-chip devices to detect glucose levels.
A lncRNA Regulates Repair of DNA Breaks in Breast Cancer Cells
Findings give "new insight" into biology of tough-to-treat breast cancer.
COPD Linked to Increased Bacterial Invasion
Persistent inflammation in COPD may result from a defect in the immune system that allows airway bacteria to invade deeper into the lung.
Detection of HPV in First-Void Urine
Similar sensitivity of HPV test on first void urine sample compared to cervical smear.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,400+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!