Caister Academic Press

Advances and Applications of Diagnostic Microbiology in Changing Antibacterial Discovery

Audrey N. Schuetz and Yi-Wei Tang
from: Emerging Trends in Antibacterial Discovery: Answering the Call to Arms (Edited by: Alita A. Miller and Paul F. Miller). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2011)


Despite the rising numbers of multidrug resistant pathogens, and their continuously emerging resistance patterns, few novel antibacterial agents have been approved or released recently. In order to combat this problem, efforts are being made to extend the utility of existing antibiotics as long as possible, while attempting to develop new drugs. The clinical practice of evidence-based therapy, based on diagnosing early and narrowing antimicrobial coverage, with timely administration of an antibiotic, may help alleviate the problem. Diagnostic procedures optimized for accuracy and turn-around time further improve patient therapy. We review techniques currently in use in diagnostic microbiology, such as direct microscopic examination, rapid biochemical and antigen testing, microorganism culture, serologic diagnosis, and a variety of molecular diagnostic techniques. In addition, we introduce various emerging diagnostic techniques, which show promise in their application towards a more exact antibacterial practice. Such emerging technologies include ultra high-throughput sequencing, microarray science, quantum dots, PCR electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, atomic force microscopy, and carbon nanotubes. Point-of-care testing devices are also reviewed. As diagnostic methods have changed over the years, the novel applications of these technologies hold promise in their rapidity and accuracy, while showing potential application in drug target testing and drug discovery read more ...
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