Researchers develop most sensitive superbug-detection test yet

A diagnostic tool developed by researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, is capable of detecting the smallest traces of compounds that might signal the presence of an infectious disease, such as C. diff, MRSA and other deadly "superbugs."

"The method we have developed allows us to detect targets at levels that are unprecedented," John Brennan, director of McMaster's Biointerfaces Institute, said in a statement. "The test has the best sensitivity ever reported for a detection system of this kind — it is as much as 10,000 times more sensitive than other detection systems."

The tool is a molecular device made of DNA that can be triggered by a molecule of the researchers' choosing. In the presence of an indicator for a specific disease or a molecule representing a virus, the device would signal detection.

The research was published online in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

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