i-sense student, Beth Lawry was awarded the International Clostridium difficile Symposium (ICDS) Young Investigator Grant for her work developing technologies for the rapid detection of C. difficile.
The grant covered Beth's registration and accomodation cosrs for this year's 5th ICDS Conference 2015 and she had the opportunity to present her poster titled "Rapid Detection of Clostridium difficile", which received very positive feedback and interest from industry.
The poster demonstrated Beth’s work as part of the Interdisciplinary Computing and Complex BioSystems (ICOS) research group at Newcastle University and i-sense’s Flagship 3 project.
Beth and her colleagues are integrating bioinformatics, a novel database, and cloud computing to identify unique biomarkers which could be exploited for the rapid and accurate detection of Clostridium difficile, a Gram-positive bacteria that causes Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).
Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the leading cause of nosocomial diarrhoea in the developed world. The prevalence of community-acquired infection, especially in elderly care homes, is increasing. However, the current gold-standard methods are labour intensive and time consuming so there is a delay in diagnosing and treating patients, resulting in increased transmission.
The sensors that Beth and her colleagues are developing are more sensitive and specific and remove the need for time consuming pre-treatment of cells. They could be integrated into a rapid detection system, for use in hospital, community and resource-limited settings.