Israel’s superbug detective kit

03/14/2012 08:16

 News from Jerusalem:  A simple bedside test to be available soon in Europe may be the most potent weapon against hospital-borne infection to date.

A new technology -- developed by a 91-year-old scientist at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem -- is putting Israel way out front in the worldwide fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

It's a well-established fact that hospital-borne infections are a top killer in the United States and Europe. Use as much antibacterial hand gel as you like, but no one is totally immune from "superbugs" spawned by the overuse or misuse of antibiotics. People with compromised immune systems, newborns and the elderly are especially easy prey for these microbes.

Prof. Emeritus Nathan Citri's medical kit targets the problem of identifying various bugs fast enough to save lives and stop an outbreak. Currently, patients can wait as long as five days to get an evidence-based treatment, time during which the infection can spread like wildfire. The kit has all the material necessary to test for the presence of superbugs in a urine or blood sample, and almost immediately provides crucial guidelines on how to treat the infection at hand.


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