Improving rational drug prescription: a rapid and low-cost antibiotic susceptibility test for drug resistant/susceptible tuberculosis

  • Blair, Ewen (Co-investigator)
  • Corrigan, Damion (Principal Investigator)
  • Hannah, Stuart (Co-investigator)

Project: Internally funded project

Project Details


Multidrug resistant TB (MDR-TB) is a significant healthcare challenge. For example, in 2016 there were 558,000 new cases globally. Quoting the World Health Organisation “Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) is multifactorial and fuelled by improper treatment of patients, poor management of supply and quality of drugs, and airborne transmission of bacteria in public places. Case management becomes difficult and the challenge is compounded by catastrophic economic and social costs that patients incur while seeking help and on treatment”.
A vital aspect of mitigating the health, social and economic costs associated with MDR-TB is the ability to rapidly diagnose the disease and quickly pinpoint which antibiotics will be effective.
DC’s group have been developing a new rapid antibiotic susceptibility test called “Microplate”. This technology was acknowledged with a prestigious Longitude Prize Discovery Award during 2017. We have recently published our first demonstration of the Microplate approach to drug susceptibility testing (with MRSA) and now have the opportunity through this pump-priming scheme to collaborate with groups in India to develop the technology specifically for MDR-TB. The technology is easy to use, low cost, mass manufacturable and fits well with established microbiological methods. It is therefore ideal for deployment in low resource settings.

Layman's description

Out of all infectious diseases, tuberculosis (TB) is the biggest killer in the world and is rapidly becoming more resistant to the antibiotics used to treat it. TB especially affects low-income people in developing nations such as India and the tests used to determine whether an antibiotic will work or not typically takes 4 - 6 weeks. Our goal is to take a technology we have been developing for detecting antibiotic resistance and see if we can adapt it for TB.
Effective start/end date1/02/2030/03/20


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