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.