Upgraded Respiratory Multiplex Array helps reduce the risk of Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance is a rising concern globally and the serious implications of prescribing antibiotics incorrectly have been highlighted continuously by key health organisations such as the NHS and World Health Organisation (WHO).

Today, it is estimated that in half of all cases, antibiotics are prescribed for conditions caused by viruses, where they do no good, (WHO).  We are delighted to release our upgraded Respiratory Multiplex Array, a simple swab or sputum test which could help curb the antibiotic resistance pandemic.

The molecular test, which can rapidly detect and identify the cause of 22 respiratory infections, 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.

Following the Lancet Infectious Diseases report last week that antibiotic resistance is growing at a rapid rate, with many ‘superbugs’ completely unresponsive to antibiotics, it is more important than ever that antibiotics are only prescribed when they will effectively treat an infection.

Given that only bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics, rapid diagnostic tests are urgently needed to distinguish between bacterial and viral infections. Resistance to specific antibiotics by many types of bacteria also dictates that identification of the particular infecting organism can further tailor treatment, giving the patient the most appropriate care.

Professor Peter Coyle, who leads one of the UK’s Regional Virology Laboratories in Belfast diagnosing infectious diseases, warns against antibiotic misuse:

“The commonest types of respiratory infection are of viral origin and antibiotics are ineffective in their treatment. Improving the diagnosis of respiratory infections is an important goal in improving patient management and reducing antimicrobial resistance. The threat of antimicrobial resistance and the loss of effective antibiotics has become a major and growing concern in health care provision.”

The new rapid and accurate test will give both patient and clinician confidence in their diagnosis of respiratory infections and will allow for quicker treatment if necessary.

Making this test available through GPs would have additional efficiency savings for the NHS, by eliminating the need for lengthy microbiology lab tests and unnecessarily prescribing drugs which are not needed.

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.”

The Randox Respiratory Array boasts a number of benefits, including;

  • A cost effective solution through multiplex testing
  • Complete patient profile from a single sample for accurate diagnosis
  • Comprehensive multi-pathogen report generated in just under 6 hours
  • Reduced sample requirement


To learn more about our Respiratory Testing please contact us at inbox@randoxbiosciences.com