Using the device is simple, Carey said. A blood sample from a patient is injected into the bottle, which goes onto a simple shaker device to agitate the nutrient solution and encourage bacterial growth. Any bacteria present in the blood sample will grow and release a signature odor that changes the colors of pigment dots on the sensor. The test is complete within a day, and the results can be read in a pattern of color changes unique to each strain of bacteria.
The earlier device could detect odors given off by bacteria only after the bacteria were first grown in laboratory culture dishes. That device used a solid nutrient culture material, which takes longer to grow bacteria than the liquid in the improved test. It also was less sensitive and worked only when larger numbers of bacteria were previously cultivated.
Carey said the new device can identify eight of the most common disease-causing bacteria with almost 99 percent accuracy under clinically relevant conditions. Other microbes can cause sepsis, and the scientists are working to expand the test's capabilities. But Carey said the device could make an impact now in reducing the toll of sepsis, especially in developing countries or other medically underserved areas.
"Our CSA blood culture bottle can be used almost anywhere in the world for a very low cost and minimal training," Carey noted. "All you need is someone to draw a blood sample, an ordinary shaker, incubator, a desktop scanner and a computer."
|Contact: Michael Bernstein
317-262-5907 (Indianapolis Press Center, Sept. 6-11)