Technology takes only minutes to detect beta-lactamase enzymes produced by drug-resistant pathogens.

U.K microbiology products and services specialist BioConnections negotiated a licensing agreement with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s R&D and technology transfer arm, Yissum, to commercialize kits for the direct detection of any multidrug-resistant (MDR) and extremely drug resistant (XDR) infection in samples of patient urine or blood. BioConnections says the first kits are in the final stages of development, and are expected to reach the market within months. An application for CE mark approval in Europe is also in progress.

The technology underlying the kits has been developed by the University Faculty of Medicine’s professor Emeritus Nathan Citri, M.D. The approach provides a direct indication of bacterial resistance to all beta-lactam antibiotics by detecting the presence of beta-lactamase enzymes that are produced by MDR bacteria. The modular kits comprise disposable arrays of antibiotics, in a combination that can be customized. Unprocessed samples are then placed on the array spots, and covered with a lid containing an indicator, which rapidly changes color in the presence of antibiotic-resistant organisms.

“Currently available techniques for identifying drug resistant bacteria are slow or hardly accessible, and evidence-based decisions are delayed for days,” remarks Yaacov Michlin, Yissum CEO. “Professor Citri’s invention now enables hospitals to identify drug-resistant infections within minutes, so that the patient can immediately benefit from appropriate, evidence-based treatment while contagion and contamination are minimized.”

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