Improving Bacterial Diagnostics in the Age of Antimicrobial Resistance

Literature seminar abstract

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is the ability of a bacterial strain to resist the effects of an antimicrobial drug. Due to continued overuse of antibiotics in clinical and agricultural settings, AMR is predicted to be the number one cause of death worldwide by 2050 unless significant changes are implemented.1 As antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria continue to evolve the inevitable increase in drug-resistant bacterial infections make rapid administration of the correct antibiotic critical for positive patient outcomes. Currently the appropriate antibiotic to treat an infection is confirmed with a susceptibility test, which can take upwards of 72 hours to complete. Existing diagnostics are too slow and will not suffice in the age of antimicrobial resistance. To meet the needs for rapid susceptibility testing, researchers have begun to focus on techniques where bacterial growth is quantified with growth indication dyes rather than visual detection. Kaushik et al. developed a microfluidic droplet generator for susceptibility testing that utilizes the growth indication dye, resazurin.2 In the presence of living and viable cells, resazurin is reduced to the fluorescent resorufin, which can be detected with a fluorimeter. The droplet generator captures individual bacteria cells in picoliter sized droplets containing antibiotics. Droplets that fluoresce are considered resistant to the antibiotic, and those that do not are considered susceptible. The microfluidic device can determine susceptibility in less than two hours, and when fully optimized could provide an alternative to current susceptibility testing. During this talk the specifics of the assay developed by Kaushik et al. along with other advances in susceptibility testing will be discussed in depth.


(1) O’Neill J. Review on Antimicrobial Resistance Antimicrobial Resistance: Tackling a crisis for the health and wealth of nations. 2014.
(2) Kaushik, A.M. et al. Biosens. Bioelectron. 2017, 97, 260-266.


Division(s): Analytical

Speaker: Cody Carrell

Speaker Institution: Colorado State University

Event Date: 10-25-2017

Event Time: 4:00 PM

Event Location: Chemistry A101

Mixer Time: 3:45 PM

Mixer Location: Chemistry B101E

Host: C. Henry