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Sensing Systems to Detect and Identify Bacteria

Home > Research > Flagship 3 Sensing Systems Detect and Identify Bacteria


The alarming rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, fuelled by the inappropriate use of antibiotics, means that it is becoming increasingly challenging to treat infections such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile (C. difficile).

Gold standard culture-based diagnostic tests are often time consuming and labour intensive, requiring samples to be sent to central hospital laboratories with expensive instrumentation and trained staff. There is a need for new detection and measurement tools to facilitate diagnosis of these infections in community settings, where resources are limited.

Led by Professor Calum McNeil, Flagship 3 aims to develop mobile phone-connected diagnostics to detect bacterial pathogens such as MRSA and C. difficile for use in hospital and community settings.

Innovative bioinformatics approaches and novel capture molecules are being developed by the Newcastle team. Sensor technologies are being integrated with low-power microelectronic chips in partnership with Andreas Demosthenous's group at UCL. In parallel, we are also investigating the use of of web-accessible data sources to map outbreaks. 

Find out more about bacterial infections.