Point-of-Care Bacterial Identification

Is $12 million enough to jump start innovation in the fight against antimicrobial resistance? The folks at the British initiative The Longitude Prize hope so. The challenge: create a cheap, fast, and accurate point-of-care analyzer or test kit to rapidly diagnose bacterial infections.

A major hurdle to curbing antimicrobial resistance is diagnostic in nature. Because identification and susceptibility testing can anywhere from two days to several weeks (depending on the causative agent), healthcare providers often need to prescribe antibiotics without knowing this critical information.

The challenge is a daunting one–the test kit would need to identify a broad number of bacterial species and resistance factors. It also needs to be functional all over the world (read: low resource settings).

If you’d like to learn more about this prize, read Maryn McKenna’s post over at Phenomena.

1 thought on “Point-of-Care Bacterial Identification”

  1. Hello There, my name is Alyssa and I am currently an MLS student. I think that this is a great initiative and am very excited to be a part of the field during a time of new up and coming innovation. Being new to the field I am not too familiar with the automation that is involved in the microbiology lab, just wondering if you had any thoughts on the technology needed to achieve a point of care kit that not only identifies the organism but also the susceptibility testing for it? Perhaps a combination of MALDI-TOF and spectroscopy? Just wanted to pick the brain someone with experience in the field. Thank you!

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