Rapid antimicrobial sensitivity testing by single cell nanoscale optical interference [article]

Isabel Bennett, Alice L. B. Pyne, Rachel McKendry
2019 biorxiv/medrxiv   pre-print
Growing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious global threat to human health, with estimates of AMR leading to 10 million deaths per year and costing the global economy $100tn by 2050. Current methods to detect resistance include phenotypic antibiotic sensitivity testing (AST) which measures bacterial growth and is therefore hampered by slow time to result (~12-24 hours). Therefore new rapid phenotypic methods for AST are urgently needed. Here we describe a novel method for detecting
more » ... for detecting phenotypic antibiotic resistance in ~45 minutes, capable of detecting single bacteria. The method uses a sensitive laser and detector system to measure nanoscale optical interference of single bacterial cells present in media, with simple sample preparation. This provides a read out of bacterial antibiotic resistance by detecting growth (resistant) or death (sensitive), much faster than current methods. We demonstrate the potential of this technique by determining resistance in both lab and clinical strains of E. coli, a key species for clinically burdensome urinary tract infections. This work provides the basis for a simple and fast diagnostic tool to detect antibiotic resistance in bacteria, reducing the health and economic burdens of AMR.
doi:10.1101/679399 fatcat:kkcdabxuzff4rhtj2gpxqnqkf4