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Sci Rep. 2017 Aug 14;7(1):8031. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-07584-z.

Rapid phenotypic stress-based microfluidic antibiotic susceptibility testing of Gram-negative clinical isolates.

Author information

1
Center for Manufacturing Innovation, Fraunhofer USA, Brookline, Massachusetts, 02446, USA.
2
Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115, USA.
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, 02215, USA.
4
Center for Manufacturing Innovation, Fraunhofer USA, Brookline, Massachusetts, 02446, USA. asauerbudge@fraunhofer.org.
5
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, 02215, USA. asauerbudge@fraunhofer.org.

Abstract

Bacteremia is a life-threatening condition for which antibiotics must be prescribed within hours of clinical diagnosis. Since the current gold standard for bacteremia diagnosis is based on conventional methods developed in the mid-1800s-growth on agar or in broth-identification and susceptibility profiling for both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial species requires at least 48-72 h. Recent advancements in accelerated phenotypic antibiotic susceptibility testing have centered on the microscopic growth analysis of small bacterial populations. These approaches are still inherently limited by the bacterial growth rate. Our approach is fundamentally different. By applying environmental stress to bacteria in a microfluidic platform, we can correctly assign antibiotic susceptibility profiles of clinically relevant Gram-negative bacteria within two hours of antibiotic introduction rather than 8-24 h. The substantial expansion to include a number of clinical isolates of important Gram-negative species-Enterobacter cloacae, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa-reported here underscores the broad utility of our approach, complementing the method's proven utility for Gram-positive bacteria. We also demonstrate that the platform is compatible with antibiotics that have varying mechanisms of action-meropenem, gentamicin, and ceftazidime-highlighting the versatility of this platform.

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