477995 Development of a Portable, Inexpensive Assay to Detect Antibiotic Resistance

Monday, November 14, 2016
Grand Ballroom B (Hilton San Francisco Union Square)
Madeleine Adams, Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN

While antibiotics have provided extraordinary health benefits, their overuse and misuse has consequently led to their diminishing efficacy. The U.S. National Library of Medicine and Center for Disease Control have declared antibiotic resistance a global health crisis, and have suggested improving diagnostic techniques and tracking methodologies in order to avert the crisis. However, taking these steps is difficult in developing countries where lab facilities are not readily available. We proposed the development of a portable, inexpensive, assay kit that uses solar energy to incubate and culture patient bacterial samples and, within 24 hours or less, deliver results regarding resistance to antibiotics. Bacterial growth can be measured in the form of a colorimetric assay that changes from translucent pink to bright yellow, which can be recorded using a smartphone camera and uploaded to a central database to track global antibiotic resistance. We have developed a 3-D printed portable device that can detect antibiotic resistance for a much lower cost than traditional molecular-based techniques. We have obtained data validating our colorimetric method using two strains of Escherichia coli, as well as Staphylococcus epidermidis and Streptococcus pseudoporcinus. Future work involves expanding the scope of this assay to detect resistance in other bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus and Group A Streptococcus, as well as developing the heating element to keep bacteria at optimum temperature for incubation in low-resource settings.

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