AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Antibiotic-resistant bacteria can be difficult to detect, and survival depends on a quick diagnosis and treatment.
However, an Auburn University research team has created a test using a biosensor that will help doctors go from hours to minutes in identifying super bacteria like MRSA, a type of staph bacteria that can cause deadly skin infections.
"It's quite reliable. It's relatively fast. It will show results within 10 to 15 minutes, we can find out if it's MRSA and if it's resistant or nonresistant staphylococcus," explains Dr. Vitaly Vodyanoy, AU Professor of Physiology.
The technology takes advantage of bacteriophages, simple viruses that can target and kill bacteria.
When combined with specific antibodies, they can be used to produce a physical change and create antibiotic resistance.
"This is what our sensor does. There are two steps. First, we find out if it's really staphylococcus and second step, we confirm if it's MRSA or not MRSA," says Vodyanoy.
The disease is of particular concern to hospitals, prisons and the military, where individuals are at risk for infection.
The goal is for this system to be installed in these facilities and restaurants, to lower chances of the bacteria spreading.
"It will be important for some food facilities to determine if their food is safe and there is no bacteria in their food," explains Vodyanoy.