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The extraordinary increase of Klebsiella pneumoniae resistant to last resource therapeutic options constitutes one of the greatest challenges of the modern Medicine  due to increasing difficulties to treat and control infections. The lack of reliable tools compatible to routine microbiology practices to assess relatedness between infectious strains impairs timely and precise treatment and infection control decisions.

 

Researchers from the BacT_Drugs Lab developed a method based on infrared spectroscopy that provides information on K. pneumoniae strain relatedness quicker (75%) and at a much lower cost (from 30%) than competing methods. It is based on the biochemical discriminatory profiles obtained according to polysaccharide variation at the cell surface. Because of its high resolution, easy implementation, speed and cost, it can be extremely useful to provide enough information to support infection control decisions and surveillance in real-time.

 

Its routine implementation in clinical microbiology laboratories is currently being tested with reference hospitals from Portugal and Spain with support of BIP proof Award (https://www.requimte.pt/ucibio/news/ir-bactyping-project-awarded-bip-proof-funding).

"We believe that it would allow precise and timely decisions on infection control that could reduce transmission of K. pneumoniae in healthcare institutions, including antibiotic resistant or pathogenic strains, and improve outcome of infections.", says Luísa Peixe, leader of the BacT_Drugs Lab, and Ângela Novais, researcher in the same lab, both corresponding authors of the article published.

 

Article

A Front Line on Klebsiella pneumoniae Capsular Polysaccharide Knowledge: Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy as an Accurate and Fast Typing Tool

mSystems, a journal from the American Society of Microbiology https://msystems.asm.org/content/5/2/e00386-19