MRSA may soon be detected in less than 15 minutes

By: November 9th, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

A new study hopes to help create a device to detect the deadly antibiotic-resistant superbug MRSA in less than 15 minutes.

The study will be conducted by the California company QuantaLife, and they will partner with the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMC) researchers.

QuantaLife received $7 million from the national Institute of Biological Imaging and Bioengineering to assist in the study which will take five years, according to The Clarion-Ledger.

MRSA causes staff infections in almost 60% of patients in hospitals, said The Clarion-Ledger. It’s detected by a machine called a polymerase chain reactor (PCR) which gives results in two days. PCR’s first generation gives results in four hours at a cost of $20, and with the second generation, results can be given in 40 minutes but at a cost of $40.

The Clarion-Ledger reported that UMC is going to be testing a third generation PCR with QuantaLife which will allegedly give patients a result in less than 15 minutes, only costing $2. This new way of testing patient doesn’t need as much specimen to test with; just a swab in the patients nose.

If all goes well with the study, this new MRSA detecting machine will overpower any other technique for a few different reasons:

  • The machine would be as small as a microwave so it will fit better in healthcare settings
  • The efficiency of it would reduce the spread of MRSA because healthcare workers could screen patients faster

The first two years of the study call for testing MRSA detecting machines and comparing results. The Clarion-ledger reported that once data is collected, QuantaLife will begin creating the machine that will be used for testing.

How do you feel about this study? Do you think we have the technology to create something like this? Let us know in our comment section.


By Ajaz Fakhri on November 9th, 2010 at 10:39 pm

It would be marvellous invetion.It could help in timely isolation and cost effective.
As previous routine swabs(MRSA) takes 48hrs and during this time prophylactice contact isolation is practiced.So it will save PPEs used during awaiting time.


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