Researchers have developed a bio-nanotechnology platform that makes it possible to rapidly capture and detect bacteria in human blood samples without the need for time-consuming culture processes, Wang Yuh-lin (王玉麟), a distinguished research fellow at Academia Sinica and National Taiwan University professor, said yesterday.
“Detecting bacteria in clinical blood samples without using time-consuming culture processes will allow more rapid diagnoses,” said Wang, who led the research team.
Conventional methods commonly require a sample preparation time ranging from days for fast-growing bacteria to weeks for slow-growing bacteria, Wang said.
The study was published in the Nov. 15 issue of the journal Nature Communications.
“Like every instrument that has its own distinct sound, every molecule has its specific spectrum and scientists have used the feature to differentiate bacteria,” said Liu Ting-yu (劉定宇), an assistant professor at the university and a member of the team.
He said that coating silver-nanoparticle arrays with the antibiotic vancomycin using a technology called surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy can lead to a 1,000-fold increase in bacteria capture compared with conventional approaches.
Vancomycin was chosen because it is one of the strongest antibiotics available and captures nearly all forms of bacteria.
Liu said the captured bacteria can then be concentrated in a special vancomycin-coated module, while blood cells are excluded, making identification easier.
The development could have wide-ranging benefits, with the top priority, at present, the detection of sepsis, a potentially deadly condition that is characterized by inflammation of the entire body and the presence of known or suspected infection.
Han Yin-yi (韓吟宜) of National Taiwan University Hospital said the technology would help obtain a much faster and more precise initial test result of the infection, reducing patient fatalities and the incidence of complications.
Once the technology becomes available, doctors will no longer have to engage in guesswork when prescribing drugs to patients and antibiotic abuse will also be reduced, Han said.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up