Working with Renishaw Diagnostics on a test for antibiotic resistance

MRC Technology (MRCT) and Renishaw Diagnostics Ltd (RDL) are collaborating on a rapid diagnostic test for the detection of carbapenemase genes, which are associated with antibiotic resistance. Current tests can take up to 48 hours, by which time patients may have spread the resistant organisms to others or have already started a course of potentially inappropriate antibiotics.

MRCT has developed the Carbaplex assay for use on RDL’s RenDx® platform to detect the most prevalent carbapenemase genes in patient samples. The platform allows for testing directly from patient samples, providing results within 6 hours of DNA extraction, so time-consuming culture is not required before results are known. It can test up to 92 samples in a single run, providing capacity to ‘screen’ patients on, or even before, admission. Using Raman spectroscopy*, multiple targets can be identified from a single patient sample.

The combination of MRCT’s expertise and RDL’s technology has produced a quick and accurate assay which was validated against an extensive panel of clinical isolates positive for carbapenemase genes. The collaboration may improve clinical practice to address this serious public health concern and ultimately save lives.

*Raman spectroscopy yields discrete spectra, avoiding signal interference inherent in fluorescence associated with conventional PCR, allowing a higher degree of multiplexing.