UK’s University of Bristol develops new test to fight antibiotic resistance


Researchers at the University of Bristol in the UK have developed a new technology to aid general practitioners in prescribing antibiotics and to assist in fighting antibiotic resistance.

As improper antibiotic use is considered to be the main factor for the occurrence of antibiotic resistance, fast diagnosis that indicates accurate antibiotic prescription for target infection is expected to minimise inappropriate use of an antibiotic and retain it for future use.

The antibiotic susceptibility tests are also believed to provide the patient with a working antibiotic, decreasing length and severity of the infection.

A grant provided by the Longitude Prize Discovery Awards will allow the research team to further develop a portable and rapid antimicrobial susceptibility testing device.

"A grant provided by the Longitude Prize Discovery Awards will allow the research team to further develop a portable and rapid antimicrobial susceptibility testing device."

The researchers are currently in the process of developing a test that will employ a new system for monitoring responses of individual infection-causing bacteria to various antibiotics.

While the team has already shown the ability of the test to determine the efficacy of a range of antibiotics in destroying infection-causing bacteria, the grant will be used for the development of a prototype machine that will help general practitioners (GP) during antibiotics prescription.

University of Bristol Molecular Bacteriology reader Dr Matthew Avison said: "The continuing development of this potentially transformative diagnostic device, and its receipt of this highly competitive international award, is testament to the interdisciplinary excellence of Bristol’s antibiotic resistance research.”

Dr Avison has provided the initial seed-funding for the research project to develop the technology.


Image: University of Bristol researcher setting up the instrument to collect data. Photo: courtesy of the University of Bristol.