Rapid Diagnostics to combat Antimicrobial Resistance


Rapid Diagnostics to combat Antimicrobial Resistance

Wed, 14/03/2018 - 14:30 to 15:30


Till Bachmann
Division of Infection and Pathway Medicine, Edinburgh Medical School Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a major threat to healthcare systems and societies on a global scale and is discussed at the highest policy levels leading to the launch of a global as well as a series of national action plans. If not tackled, the UK independent Review on AMR calculated that AMR could cause an additional 10 million deaths per year and a loss of up to US$100 trillion from global GDP by 2050. It is expected that AMR will have a wide impact on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and in 2017 the Interagency Coordination Group on Antimicrobial Resistance was formed to coordinate global action against AMR. Rapid diagnostics is needed to help reducing this threat but current methods are too slow and lack information depth to enable tailored therapy decisions. To overcome this limitation molecular tools are developed for rapid in vitro diagnostics. In an ideal scenario such devices would be available at point of care to make therapy decisions at the site of the patient possible. The lack of end-user input and lack of health economic data for the benefit of using rapid diagnostics are major barriers for development and implementation of such tests to combat AMR. Here, we report the successful development of an electrochemical biosensor platform based on electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) for label-free molecular diagnostics at point of care covering a wide range of targets from small molecules over proteins to different types of nucleic acids. Nucleic acid targets which have been successfully detected with the EIS platform range from synthetic targets over PCR products derived from several antibiotic resistance genes, genomic DNA and ribosomal RNA for direct amplification-free bacterial species identification to host biomarkers for infection detection. The presentation will review our recent in the context of the soaring problem of antimicrobial resistance.


Dr Till Bachmann is Deputy Head of the Division of Infection and Pathway Medicine, Reader in Personalised Medicine in Infectious Diseases, and Programme Director of the Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases MSc at The University of Edinburgh. Till has a PhD on biosensors from research at University of Stuttgart and The University of Tokyo and a German Habilitation in Analytical Biotechnology. He is an expert in point of care detection of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance, conducting research at the interface of biomarkers and novel detection modalities. Till gained commercial experience as founder CEO of Namaxx Genomic GmbH (2001-6) and as Scientific Programme Director for MHC Scotland Ltd (2013-15) and fulfils a variety of industrial and institutional advisory roles worldwide. As such he is coordinator of the JPIAMR Transnational Working Group on Rapid Diagnostic Tests, member of the UK AMR Diagnostic Collaborative, Panel Member for the Longitude Prize on Antibiotics, judge for the Discovery Award and EU Horizon Prize on Better Use of Antibiotics, as well as founder of AMR DxC, the Antimicrobial Resistance Diagnostics Challenge competition.