Antimicrobial Awareness Week 18 - 24 November 2020
The acceleration of antimicrobial resistance around the globe continues to drive the need for novel medicines to be developed. As new medicines emerge to combat resistant microbes, so too do new resistance genes.
Antibiotics are a mainstay in medicine, particularly for surgical procedures such as organ transplantation, chemotherapy, caesarean sections, and treatment of serious infections. However, the misuse and over-prescription of antimicrobials has led to the rise in drug resistance.
Drug-resistant bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites contribute to increased disease severity, prolonged illness, and further health complications including higher risk of death. With the growing spread of drug-resistance, there is an urgent need to adopt screening and rapid detection methods for these resistance genes to enable the most appropriate treatment.
MT-PCR for antibacterial resistance screening
Phenotypic methods have traditionally been relied on for antibiotic susceptibility profiles (2). While these methods are low cost and easy to perform, they often take days and the ability to generate timely results delays urgently needed treatment (3) and can have severe consequences for the patient (4). The adoption of molecular diagnostic methods, such as quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) has steadily increased after the relatively rapid technique has been shown to provide diagnostic results in hours (5) (compared to days). Multiplex tandem PCR, or MT-PCR, takes qPCR one step further and provides an added ability to test for a wider range of targets simultaneously. This translates to the detection of multiple resistance genes within 3.5 hrs. Clinically, the more rapid and comprehensive diagnostic information enables better patient outcomes.
MT-PCR panels detect the majority of critical antibacterial resistance genes.