Wednesday, February 8, 2017
Rapid test detects mobile resistance gene mcr-1.
Scientists have evaluated a rapid test that detects the dreaded colistin resistance gene within twenty minutes. It can therefore be used in hospitals and for livestock. Colistin is used as the "last-resort antibiotic" for dreaded multidrug-resistant pathogens, especially in hospitals. However, gut bacteria that have become insensitive to colistin now exist -- owing to the mobile resistance gene mcr-1. In early 2016, bacteria carrying this resistance gene were detected in Germany for the first time.The risk of a further spread of this colistin resistance is high because it takes place through so-called mobile genetic elements (plasmids) which are transferred between different types of bacteria relatively easily. For the evaluation of this rapid test, the scientists from the German center for research worked together with the company AmplexBiosystems GmbH which provided the testing kits free of charge. 104 bacterial isolates from animals, humans and the environment underwent testing with the molecular rapid test: the rapid test results were compared to those from complete genome sequencing or PCR, and demonstrated one hundred percent sensitivity and specificity. The test could clearly differentiate between common colistin resistance and mobile resistance located on plasmids and the test results become available in only twenty minutes.