Mezger A, Gullberg E, Göransson J, Zorzet A, Herthnek D, Tano E, Nilsson M, Andersson DI
J. Clin. Microbiol. 53 (2) 425-432 [2015-02-00; online 2014-11-19]
To ensure correct antibiotic treatment and reduce the unnecessary use of antibiotics, there is an urgent need for new rapid methods for species identification and determination of antibiotic susceptibility in infectious pathogenic bacteria. We have developed a general method for the rapid identification of the bacterial species causing an infection and the determination of their antibiotic susceptibility profiles. An initial short cultivation step in the absence and presence of different antibiotics was combined with sensitive species-specific padlock probe detection of the bacterial target DNA to allow a determination of growth (i.e., resistance) and no growth (i.e., susceptibility). A proof-of-concept was established for urinary tract infections in which we applied the method to determine the antibiotic susceptibility profiles of Escherichia coli for two drugs with 100% accuracy in 3.5 h. The short assay time from sample to readout enables fast appropriate treatment with effective drugs and minimizes the need to prescribe broad-spectrum antibiotics due to unknown resistance profiles of the treated infection.