|9 June 2016|

Life-saving discoveries made by a leading team of international scientists will enable the rapid isolation of infectious bacteria.

Led by Dr Donald Ingber, from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, the group’s findings reveal a new method which will help practitioners overcome the challenge of pinpointing the type of bacteria that are at the root of an infection.

Donald said: “We leveraged FcMBL — the genetically engineered pathogen-binding protein we developed for our sepsis therapeutic device program — to develop a fast and simple technology to help overcome this diagnostic roadblock. Using clinical samples of joint fluids, we were able to show that this method can be used to quickly and efficiently isolate bacterial pathogens for various kinds of subsequent analysis, which is commonly used for molecular diagnostics in clinical laboratories.”

He added: “This isolation technique should be able to be used to rapidly identify pathogens in other clinical samples including blood, urine, sputum, and cerebral spinal fluid, and thus, it will hopefully shorten the time required for physicians to select the optimal therapy. In addition to saving more lives, this new method also should reduce the use of broad-spectrum antibiotic therapies, or suboptimal regimens, and thereby, decrease development of antibiotic-resistant organisms that become a more general threat in the long run.”