One Step Closer to Personalized Antibiotic Treatment

Taking antibiotics to fight an infection won't necessarily solve your problems. Often, natural occurring bacteria in the gut harbor several resistance genes. This means that the gut bacteria may exchange genes with the infectious bacteria, resulting in antibiotic resistance. Therefore, knowing the resistome - i.e. the pool of resistance genes present in the gut microbiota - can improve treatment immensely.

Now researchers from The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability - DTU Biosustain - at Technical University of Denmark have developed a super-fast cheap method called poreFUME that can shed light on the pool of resistance genes in the gut.

"With this method, you will get an overview of the resistome in 1-2 days, and, hence, be able to start the treatment of the infection sooner and with better results than before," says Eric van der Helm, Postdoc at The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability - DTU Biosustain - at Technical University of Denmark.

The research has recently been published in the journal Nucleic Acid Research.

The poreFUME method using nanopore sequencing is very rapid compared to current methods, because it doesn't require growth of the faecal bacteria, which takes time and can be difficult. Also, the data from the device is streamed in real time, so the user doesn't need to wait until the end of a 'run' to access information about the experiment.

Today, getting resistome-data from a patient takes weeks. In the meantime, the resistome profile might change dramatically, and the patient will suffer from failing health.

Every year 700,000 people die of resistant infections, in particular hospitalized patients; and the problem seems to be growing. For many patients, a quick assessment of their personal pool of resistance genes in their feces can be lifesaving.

"Our research shows, that this method provides a promising alternative to other sequencing methods and that it can be used to rapidly profile the resistome of microbial communities in for instance the gut. We are quite convinced, that rapid resistome profiling could lead to personalized antibiotic treatment in high risk patients," says Professor and co-author Morten Sommer from DTU Biosustain.

The study was carried out as a collaboration between DTU and co-author Dr. Willem van Schaik from the University Medical Center Utrecht, who provided access to an intensive care unit patient (ICU).

In this study, five feces samples from the ICU patient were assessed. After lung transplantation surgery, due to Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the patient was treated with four different kinds of antibiotics to prevent and fight infections. Samples were collected both upon admission to intensive care unit, during stay and several months after hospitalisation.

The results showed that the poreFUME method was 97% accurate, when compared to standardized resistome profiling methods. This percentage is sufficient when measuring the resistome.

Furthermore, the poreFUME method is much cheaper than current methods, primarily due to the low cost of the so-called MinION; a small handheld DNA-sequencing device, which scientists can start to use for 1,000 Dollars. In comparison, conventional so-called next generation sequencing devices are priced at between 50,000 Dollars and 10 million Dollars.

"If hospitals can purchase equipment for resistome profiling cheaper than today, it opens up for better profiling of more patients and hopefully fewer cases of bacterial resistance," says co-author and Researcher Lejla Imamovic from DTU Biosustain.

Eric van der Helm, Lejla Imamovic, Mostafa M. Hashim Ellabaan, Willem van Schaik, Anna Koza, Morten O.A. Sommer.
Rapid resistome mapping using nanopore sequencing.
Nucleic Acids Res 2017 gkw1328. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkw1328.

Most Popular Now

Interactive Health Apps May Inspire Heal…

Just like real doctors and nurses, online health tools with good - but controlled - communication skills can promote healthier lifestyles, according to researchers. However, if their tone is conversational...

Read more

Augmented Reality Visor to Dramatically …

Employing new photonics technology, European scientists are developing a new Augmented Reality surgical visor in a bid to improve accuracy of interventions, showing anaesthetic and medical data while superimposing a...

Read more

UK and Italian Health Tech Firms to Help…

Data sharing ambitions set out in newly published sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) have been given a boost by a new strategic partnership between data management specialist Stalis and Italy's...

Read more

Call for Papers: EHB 2017 - IEEE Interna…

22 - 24 June 2017, Sinaia, Romania. The 6-th edition of the International Conference on e-Health and Bioengineering, EHB 2017, will take place in the city of Sinaia, Romania. This year...

Read more

From Health Apps to Nursing Robots - A G…

25 - 27 April 2017, Berlin, Germany. Around the world the subject of e-Health is steadily gaining in importance, whether it involves electronic patient files, online video consultations or any of...

Read more

Startupbootcamp Digital Health Berlin: C…

Startupbootcamp Digital Health Berlin supports innovative startups that combine medical knowledge with smart technologies, with special focus on behavior change, diagnostics and genomics, big data and analytics. Startupbootcamp provides mentorship...

Read more

Philips Teams Up with German Startup One…

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, today announced a partnership agreement with German digital health company Onelife Health to jointly develop innovative connected health...

Read more

EU eHealth Competition 2017

The eHealth Competition is an initiative that rewards the best eHealth / mHealth solutions produced by European SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). Its objective is to support business success of...

Read more

Philips and LabPON Plan to Create World…

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) and LabPON, the first clinical laboratory to transition to 100% histopathology digital diagnosis, have announced its plans to create a digital database of massive...

Read more

Use of Mobile App Reduces Number of In-P…

Patients who underwent ambulatory breast reconstruction and used a mobile app for follow-up care had fewer in-person visits during the first 30 days after the operation without affecting complication rates...

Read more

Technology Boost for Health and Social C…

Health and social care organisations aiming to be fully compliant with the government’s Personalised Health and Care 2020 plan, can now access electronic health record (EHR) and healthcare integration technologies...

Read more

Philips Introduces Advanced Radiology So…

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, has unveiled new advanced radiology solutions at the 2017 European Congress of Radiology (ECR). In response to today's...

Read more
(HEALTH IT) SPACE - Take a look at who has just Joined