Mind Your Microbes and Prevent Antibiotic Resistance
World Microbiome Day on Thursday 27th June 2019 celebrates all things microbe! Microorganism is a very general term to describe many different types of life forms including bacteria, archaea, fungi, protists, viruses and microscopic animals. 1
On World Microbiome Day people throughout the world are encouraged to celebrate the diversity of the microbiome and highlight the importance within our food system, human health and planetary health.
Microbiomes are encountered in everyday life and can have an effect on all aspects of human health. Antibiotics if utilised appropriately can be life saving drugs however, if they are overused they can begin to affect the bacteria of humans, animals and plant microbiome. The profile of Antibiotic Resistance needs to be raised to highlight that the overuse of antibiotics can lead to bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics.
In recent years, some pathogens, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae have acquired resistance to antibiotics, rendering the drugs ineffective in treating disease.
This can largely be attributed to patient misuse of antibiotics as well as inappropriate prescribing by healthcare professionals. For example, antibiotics are ineffective against many respiratory tract infections, particularly viral infections, yet in the UK, RTI’s account for 60% of antibiotic prescriptions in primary care.2
Correct identification and diagnosis of bacterial and/or viral pathogens is therefore critical to inform correct prescribing of antibiotics.
Respiratory Tract Infection Array
Respiratory infections are a significant global problem due to their impact on population health and their economic burden. According to the WHO, lower respiratory tract infections are the third greatest cause of mortality worldwide, accounting for 6.1% of total deaths. 3
All respiratory illness has been estimated to cost the UK £11.1 billion per year in direct costs. If intangible costs are included, which incorporate those associated with pain, suffering, excessive mortality and morbidity, costs soar to £165 billion. 4
The Randox Respiratory Multiplex Array is the most comprehensive screening test for infections of both the upper and lower respiratory tracts. It simultaneously detecting 22 bacterial and viral pathogens from a single sputum, lavage or nasopharyngeal sample.
Our Respiratory Multiplex Array, could help curb the antibiotic resistance pandemic. It can subsequently aid clinicians in the selection of the most appropriate antibiotic treatment for patients. In many cases, such as viral infections, the use of antibiotics can be avoided, improving antibiotic stewardship.
The test is performed utilising our Biochip Array Technology which enables the simultaneous detection of multiple results from one patient sample. Biochip Array Technology powers Vivalytic which is the all-one solution for molecular diagnostics in partnership with Bosch.
The main benefits of the Respiratory Multiplex Array are:
- Turnaround time of 2 hours
- Validated for sputum, lavage and nasopharyngeal samples
- Panel includes viral and bacterial species to consolidate testing
This World Microbiome Day, we are urging the public to help raise awareness of antimicrobial resistance. Randox Biosciences are committed to the ongoing development of diagnostic tests, as well as our research into numerous disease areas to improve health worldwide.
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1 – Learn.genetics.utah.edu. (2019). What are Microbes?. [online] Available from: https://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/microbiome/intro/
2 – Fleming-Dutra, KE; Hersh, AL; Shapiro DJ, et al. Prevalence of inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions among US ambulatory care visits, 2010-2011. 2016;315(17):1864-1873
3 – WHO Fact sheet. N°310[Online] Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/index.html
4 – Estimating the economic burden of respiratory illness in the UK [Online] Available from: https://www.blf.org.uk/policy/economic-burden