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Rapid test for pathogens developed by K-State researchers
Date:8/21/2008

a mixture of pathogens.

Under the current practice, it literally takes days to isolate and identify each individual pathogen and generate their antimicrobial resistance profiles. This means physicians and veterinarians often start antibiotic treatment before knowing exactly what they're up against.

"This new test will eliminate a lot of the guesswork," Narayanan said. It will tell the doctor how many different kinds of pathogens are in a sample and which antibiotics won't work, all in a shorter time frame. The test's efficiencies also translate into lower cost, he said.

Should the U.S. ever be attacked with biological weapons, Narayanan said the new test also will help in quickly identifying all of the bacterial pathogens used.

"Being able to get such quick results for so many pathogens at once will become critical in case of bioterrorism," he said. "Under that scenario, every minute counts in providing treatment or preventing disease spread."

Also, such pathogens would likely be engineered for resistance to common drug treatment and the new test would determine such resistance rapidly, Narayanan said.

The test is currently being used in research labs at K-State's College of Veterinary Medicine to detect animal and zoonotic pathogens; zoonotic pathogens can be transmitted between humans and animals. The test also is being used to monitor the flow of genetic elements in food production systems, such as feedlots. However, Narayanan hopes the test one day will be used to enhance the clinical diagnosis of animal and human infections.


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Contact: Sanjeev Narayanan
snaryayan@k-state.edu
785-532-4430
Kansas State University
Source:Eurekalert

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