Researchers test method for detecting wound infections in under a minute

Current practice for clinicians trying to determine whether a patient's wound is infected entails plating the bacteria and letting it incubate overnight, a process than can take 24 hours to complete. New research published in Wound Repair and Regeneration explores a method that could wound infection diagnosis time down to less than a minute.

Researchers from GeorgeWashingtonUniversity in Washington, D.C., tested an electrochemical sensor that determines the presence of Pseudomonas, a strain of infectious bacteria, by measuring a certain molecule it produces. The test correctly identified the presence of the bacteria 71 percent of the time and was able to detect its absence 57 percent of the time.

"Being able to detect Pseudomonas and other infectious organisms at the time of the clinic visit will greatly enhance our ability to take care of patients," Victoria Shanmugam, MD,  director of the Division of Rheumatology at the GW School of Medicine, said in a statement. "We would not have to wait for culture results before making a decision about antibiotics, and this would allow us to better tailor therapies for our patients."

The researchers suggest the method could potentially enable clinicians to make more timely and efficient bedside diagnoses that would impact antibiotic prescription and care plans.

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