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Biologists Develop Method for Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing

A team of biologists and biomedical researchers at UC San Diego has developed a new method to determine if bacteria are susceptible to antibiotics within a few hours, an advance that could slow the appearance of drug resistance and allow doctors to more rapidly identify the appropriate treatment for patients with life threatening bacterial infections.

The development is important, say biomedical scientists, because of the critical need for physicians to rapidly discriminate between drug resistant strains (commonly termed MRSA for methicillin-resistant S. aureus) and drug sensitive strains, since these infections can progress rapidly, especially MRSA strains with additional resistance to newer antibiotics designed to treat pathogens that are now appearing in hospitals.