Rapid bio-sensor approach in UTI detection

Wednesday,29 February 2012- Research conducted in the US on new methods to diagnose urinary tract infections (UTIs) may lead to rapid molecular diagnosis that can help prevent such infectious problems from recurring in susceptible or chronically ill patients.

Prof. Joseph Liao spoke during the thematic session on “Infection and Inflammation in Urology” and said that while current laboratory tests for UTIs now take two to three days, a new molecular diagnosis might shorten the test in less than an hour. He described the biosensor that he and his team are developing at Stanford University, which may allow such rapid results,and could have a similar revolutionary impact on clinical practice as the glucose sensor has had in the past.

The antimicrobial susceptibility testing that Liao’s team has developed also provides results within three hours. The researchers use microfluidics techniques to automate sample preparation steps, cutting the tedious and lengthy process that usually is the norm in laboratories.

Meanwhile, speaker Prof. Ekaterina Kulchavenya (RU) reported on the challenges of male genital tuberculosis (UGTB), which currently affects one third of the patients hospitalised in Siberia. Due to these extraordinary numbers, all patients living in the regions affected by the epidemic who present with UTI or a history of tuberculosis should be tested for UGTB.

Kulchavenya  said this testing is especially important since as of now not a single UGTB patient has been diagnosed on their first visit because the disease has no pathognomonic features. Urine samples, prostatic secretion, and ejaculate on mycobacterium tuberculosis are necessary for early diagnosis of UGTB.

Speaker Mr. Derek Rosario (UK) lectured on infections following prostate biopsy. He said that about one in 20 men experience infective symptoms after prostate biopsy and more than 55% of those men have a negative attitude towards repeating biopsy. Given the increased importance of biopsies, this negative attitude can affect patient treatment and must therefore be prevented.

In a prospective, multi-centre study, the Prostate Biopsy Effects (ProBE) group found that post-biopsy prophylaxis can significantly reduce the infective complication rate. Although the best antibiotic option and dose remain unclear, the data show that a prolonged course of antibiotics is better than a single dose. Study results of the ProBE group with regards to incidence of infection are confirmed by the recently published European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer (ERSPC) study.

Where ERSPC found that 0.8% of patients is hospitalised with infective symptoms after biopsy, the ProBE group reported an incidence of 0.6%. Further research must determine whether post-biopsy prophylaxis can indeed reduce this.

By Monique van Hout


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