Spinner was turned into a rapid test for the diagnosis of urinary tract infections

Scientists have created a rapid test for the diagnosis of infections of the urogenital tract, reminiscent of the spinner to work a test, it literally needs to twist as well as conventional spinner. The development described in the article, published in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering. While that test was used with only one of the strains of Escherichia coli.

According to who, infections of the urinary tract are the second most prevalence of inflammatory diseases of the upper respiratory tract. Anatomical and morphological features (wide and short urethra) of these infections were more common in women — it is believed that up to 32 years every other woman carries some form of this infection. Treatment for these diseases cost the health systems millions of dollars, and patients often poorly performing doctors ‘ recommendations. This is due to many reasons, among which are long diagnosis of infection and rapid development of asymptomatic chronic process on the background of irrational antibiotic therapy.

In the treatment of urinary tract infections, doctors prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics that can kill several types of bacteria. This approach is used to relieve acute symptoms of infection and speed recovery. For example, when pyelonephritis that is accompanied by pain in the lumbar region, and fever, antibiotics are active against Escherichia coli (E. coli), as this bacterium often causes these diseases. On the one hand, this allows to facilitate the patient’s condition, and with another — increases the risk of deterioration of patient condition or develop resistance if the disease is caused by a different microorganism. But doctors are the risk, since no treatment within 2-3 days required for the study of resistance of microorganisms to antibiotics in acute infections lead to complications.

Therefore, to improve the quality of treatment is needed for a faster way to study of microorganism. To date, the standard method for diagnosis of urinary tract infections — the detection of bacteria in the urine of a patient with further bacteriological culture method, in which the urine sample is sown on a nutrient medium. This study requires a lot of time (the same 2-3 days), resources (laboratory equipment) and labour costs. To perform this analysis in primary health institutions is not possible, especially in countries with developing economies.

A group of researchers under the leadership of Michael Isaac (Issac Michael) from the National Institute of science and technology Ulsan city created a cheap and easy-to-use device that allows to detect bacterial cells in the urine specimen. The test result will be available in 50 minutes, and if you spend another 70 minutes, you can explore the resistance of the strain to antibiotics. Test system takes up no more space than a conventional spinner (and spinning as well) and is available for use in the outpatient setting.

Test system is a plastic plate with a hinge in the middle. At the side of the hinge is a recess with a hole — here are introduced urine samples (one milliliter). Closer to the edge, you’ll filter membrane (white circles). Between the recess and the membrane is a sampling chamber through which the filter gets a urine sample. With the help of the centrifugal force caused by rotation, and a special buffer solution bacteria are distributed on the filter membrane evenly, allowing you to filter their urine to spread them smooth with a thin layer and keep the original concentration of microorganisms. To achieve the desired effect it is necessary two times to run your finger rotate the system around the hinge.

After filtration, the system adds the solution to the chemical WST-8 (tetrazolium dye). When it interacts with enzymes of the respiratory chain located in bacteria directly into the cell membrane, the recovery of the dye with the formation of formisano (formic acid derivatives), which are orange in colour.

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