Antibiotic resistance is the greatest danger to the control and management of infections, posing a major threat to health worldwide. The World Health Organisation has stated that unless urgent action is taken, therapeutic options for the treatment of infections will no longer be effective. The World Health Organization is calling for increased research and development into pipeline products, as well as greater vigilance on the correct use of antibiotics, increased monitoring and reporting of resistant strains as well as better prevention, diagnosis and control of infections.1
We at Randox Biosciences are supporting World Antibiotic Awareness Week to raise awareness of this global health concern and demonstrate the methods available to reduce risk.
What Are Antibiotics?
Antibiotics are medicines used to prevent and treat bacterial infections. However, when they are used incorrectly, a resistance is built up, deeming them ineffective for future and continual use. This is due to a bacteria change in response to the use of the medicines1. In the UK alone, at least 5,000 people die per year from antibiotic resistant infections2.
The theme of this year’s campaign is Antibiotics: Handle with Care. This is to focus on the fact that antibiotics are valuable resources and should be preserved, only prescribed when they will be effective in treating an infection1.
What are Randox Biosciences doing to reduce risk?
At Randox Biosciences, we are dedicated to advancing health worldwide through the production of innovative tests. Our award-winning Biochip Array Technology (BAT) has revolutionised the diagnostics industry by facilitating the simultaneous detection of a wide range of disease markers from a single sample, providing a complete patient profile for rapid, accurate diagnosis.
Utilising this technology, we have developed a Respiratory infections test and STI test which both allow the accurate detection of infections, reducing the prescription of antibiotics ineffectively.
Respiratory Multiplex Array
Our Respiratory Multiplex array provides comprehensive screening for infections of both the upper and lower respiratory tracts. As well as simultaneously detecting 22 infections from a single patient sample, our test also identifies if the infection is bacterial or viral. Given that only bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics, our respiratory array therefore enables clinicians to correctly diagnose and advise on the correct course of treatment.
Respiratory tract infections are caused by many viral and bacterial pathogens and are the second most common cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Particularly affecting the young, elderly and the immunocompromised, respiratory infections can result in prolonged hospital stays and represent a significant cost burden to public health systems worldwide3.
A study found that 70% of clinicians admitted to prescribing antibiotics even when they were unsure whether they were treating a bacterial or viral infection4. Therefore, patients were taking antibiotics even though they were ineffective in treating their infection. This highlights the massive need for accurate diagnosis to clearly distinguish between the two types of infections and treat successfully.
John Lamont, Chief Scientist at Randox Laboratories, whose team developed the test, commented;
“Current diagnostic testing for respiratory infections takes at least 36 hours to confirm the nature of an infection, and they cannot name and categorise infections as bacterial or viral in the way that this new respiratory test can. C-reactive protein tests, for example, that are currently in use can only indicate whether a bacterial infection is likely. We need more than just guess work to combat the antibiotic resistance pandemic.”
STI Multiplex Array
Our dedicated molecular research scientists have also developed a multiplex test for the detection of sexually transmitted infections (STI’s).
STI’s represent a significant public health issue in both developed and developing countries. Many infections are asymptomatic and can remain undiagnosed, increasing the risk of unhindered spread in the sexually active population. If untreated, STIs can impact fertility, increase risk of ectopic pregnancies and infant mortality.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 1 million people acquire a sexually transmitted infection (STI) every day and each year, 500 million new cases of curable sexually transmitted infections (including syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis) occur; therefore early and accurate detection is critical.1
Also utilising Biochip Array Technology, our STI array screens for 10 bacterial, viral and protozoan infections including primary, secondary and asymptomatic co-infections for a complete infection profile.
Dedicated Research and Development
To achieve our aim of improving diagnostics and health, we are continually researching and developing new products to combat major health issues worldwide.
Dr. Martin Crockard, Head of Molecular R&D at Randox Biosciences, commented;
“The molecular diagnostics group at Randox Biosciences are continually developing a range of multiplex infection detection arrays to identify specific infection agents, allowing more appropriate use of antibiotics to improve patient care and reduce the onset of antibiotic resistance. Utilising the multiplex power of our patented Biochip Array Technology, our products can identify the specific cause or causes of illness, providing opportunities to tailor treatment and as a result, reduce antibiotic misuse.”
It has been great supporting Antibiotic Resistance this week and sharing how we are continually researching and developing new products to tackle this global issue. Stay connected with us to find out more about our exciting product developments coming soon or contact us for further information via firstname.lastname@example.org
1-World Health Organization
2-Antibiotic Research UK
3- Lancet Infectious Diseases Report