Current tests can take days to produce results and are often limited in their ability to distinguish between various bacterial strains. But the new technology produces test results in just one to three hours, and can be operated and interpreted without highly trained personnel. A report on the technique -- developed by Dr. Yechezkel Kashi of the Faculty of Food Engineering and Biotechnology and the Grand Water Research Institute at the Technion, together with Dr. Eric Hallerman of the College of Natural Resources at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and Dr. Leora Shelef of the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Wayne State University -- was published in Genome Research (January 2000).
"The precise identification of bacterial strains can be crucial in determining effective therapeutic strategies, and time is of the essence when it comes to certain diagnoses," Dr. Kashi said. "For example, it can take days for doctors to determine that a patient has a urinary tract infection that can permanently damage the kidneys. Now patients can start taking the proper medications within hours of the test."
Dr. Hallerman added that "the research will improve the sensitivity, speed of detection and identification of bacteria such as E. coli. Because the test is rapid, sensitive and specific, it may be important as a microbial test of food and of water supplies to protect against terrorist attack.
In developing this detection system, t
Contact: Martha Molnar
American Society for Technion - Israel Institute of Technology