The program: Mykrobe Predictor , can run on a laptop, and in a few minutes can analyse bacterial DNA from a patient’s infection and predict which antibiotics will work.
They have released the software to download free at: http://www.mykrobe.com
The software is being evaluated by Modernising Medical Microbiology researchers in Brighton, Leeds and Oxford, to see in three UK hospitals to see whether it could help speed up diagnosis of drug-resistant infections and enable doctors to better target the prescription of antibiotics.
The software, developed by Phelim Bradley, Dr Zamin Iqbal and colleagues at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, runs on a standard laptop or tablet without the need for any specialist expertise. It can analyse the entire genetic code of a bacterium in under three minutes, once a bacterial sample has been cultured and its DNA has been sequenced.
The study, published this week in Nature Communications, showed that it can accurately predict antibiotic resistance in both Staphylococcus Aureus (including MRSA) and tuberculosis (TB).
If this software can be combined with quick methods of extracting DNA from the bacteria causing infections, it could potentially lead to Doctors accurately diagnosing infections within hours of patients becoming unwell, meaning patients get the right treatment faster.
You can learn more about how our researchers are working on speeding up the process of DNA extraction here: MMM Researcher Luke Anson on Extracting Bacterial DNA
Click here to see a video of MyKrobe in action, analysing Staphylococcus Aureus DNA
The Wellcome Trust press Release can be found here
The full research paper is available here
The Iqbal Lab blog is here