(ScienceDaily) Researchers from Macquarie University and the University of New South Wales in Australia, have demonstrated a proof-of-concept device that uses bacterial DNA to identify the presence of Staphylococcus aureus positively in a patient sample — and to determine if it will respond to frontline antibiotics. The professors used a mobile phone and ultra-tiny semiconductor particles known as quantum dots.
Vinoth Kumar and colleagues subjected the DNA copies to a process known as lateral flow immunoassay — a paper-based diagnostic tool used to confirm the presence or absence of a target biomarker. The researchers use probes fitted with quantum dots to detect two unique genes, that confirms the presence of methicillin resistance in golden staph.
Methicillin-resistant S. aureus, or MRSA, is particular concern. It is estimates that 700,000 deaths globally could be attributed to antimicrobial resistance, such as methicillin-resistance. Rapid identification of MRSA is essential for effective treatment, but current methods make it a challenging process, even within well-equipped hospitals.