Simon Fraser University engineering science researchers, collaborating with two research institutes in India, have created a simple way to treat bacteria-infected newborns in rural India.
Bacterial testing in rural India is carried out in labs many miles away, so the process of nailing down the correct antibiotic can take days. Working with researchers at Bangalore’s Raman Research Institute and the Centre for Biotechnology at Anna University in Chennai, SFU professor Ash Parameswaran and a trio of graduate students have developed a class of plastic microfluidic chips that can determine the right antibiotic within a few hours using a simple LED light source.
The process uses a textbook approach called an “antibiogram.” The microfluidic chips contain tiny chambers to hold bacteria samples (from the feces) along with a food mixture containing the antibiotic and a dye material, which the bacteria consume.
The bacteria consume the food in the presence of the antibiotic and the digestion byproduct can be seen using the fluorescence technique. If the bacteria live in spite of the antibiotic, then that sample glows green. If the antibiotic is effective, then the bacteria die and that sample does not glow.
There are eight different antibiotics available to address infantile diarrhea in developing countries, and it’s crucial to administer the correct antibiotic for the type of bacteria that have infected the infant.
Currently physicians in rural India must either send the sample to a centralized testing facility, which can take several days, or make an educated judgment and administer an antibiotic cocktail. Both options have serious negative and occasionally fatal consequences.
SFU graduate students Mona Rahbar and Suman Chhina developed the first set of prototypes, which were tested in labs in India last year.
The researchers from India visited SFU and spent two weeks working with the graduate students and performing tests using nonpathogenic bacterial strains provided by SFU researcher Fiona Brinkman.
The prototype chips were then tested in India using the real bacterial strains, and the results helped formulate the next generation of chips. The new chips have been sent to India for more detailed testing and may move on to field trial.
Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee
of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally
accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.
About the ICMJE and citation styles
The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.
An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.
BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:
- Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
- There is no period after the journal name.
- Page numbers are not abbreviated.
For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org