We are currently developing an assay that will test for urinary tract infections (UTIs) which are the most common type of infections seen in healthcare. We do this using a handheld device and novel chemicals that change their alignment under flow in the presence of the bacteria that cause UTIs.
The advantages of our method include speed (the test takes only 2 minutes) and the fact that we can test for different things at the same time in the same test. This means that we can provide the information that is required by the doctor to prescribe the appropriate medication.
This has several benefits including:
1. reduction in the level of antimicrobial resistance that can develop from the over/inappropriate use of antibiotics
2. better workload management for central pathology lab services which have to handle huge volumes of tests that could be dealt with in the GP surgery
3. reduced incidence of hospital admissions due to complications that arise from incorrect treatment early on.