• Developments in UTI treatment

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Developments in UTI treatment

Jan 25 2012

Researchers in Germany have used mass spectrometry to significantly improve the treatment time for urinary tract infection (UTI).

The Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption Ionisation-Time of Flight (MALDI-TOF) technique has reduced the time of identifying bacteria in urine to 30 minutes, compared to the 12 hours that it use to take. Any antibodies the patient may have taken also does not have any effect on the detection, and samples do not need to be cultured before testing.

This means that treatment for UTIs can commence earlier with antibiotic treatment targeted at the right bacterial culprit, which should reduce patient suffering and lead to a reduction in cost and complications in the procedure. Furthermore, the test is almost 100 times more sensitive than the minimum clinical threshold for UTI diagnosis.

Dr Frank Mosel, a researcher at the University Hospital Essen in Germany, commented that:  "This means that developing infections can be identified in routine urine samples before clinical symptoms appear. This is particularly helpful for catheterised hospital patients who may have weakened immune systems and may therefore be more susceptible to infection."

Women are more prone to UTI than men for reasons that are currently unknown. Ninety five percent of UTIs are caused by uropathogens which multiply at the notch of the urethra and migrate towards the bladder.

Posted by Fiona Griffiths

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