The company has been working on a novel DNA hybridization technology to detect genes in bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. The focus of the development programme was to adapt the novel DNA based technology to work in a SafeTube that is used in other tests sold by the company. This means that the test is suitable for use in a point of care situation. The test that has been developed works directly on whole cell bacteria without the need for cell lysis and or DNA purification. A patent has been applied for on this novel approach. The test features rapid hybridization and after 30 minutes develops a blue colour that can be read by eye or in a simple hand held reader. The first test developed is for detection of the gene in MRSA that makes these bacteria resistant to the commonly used antibiotic methicillin. The test was evaluated on cultured samples by the University of Northampton and was shown to be highly specific for MRSA and very sensitive. The plans are to get the test evaluated on clinical samples in an NHS clinical microbiology laboratory and also broaden the range of tests to include rapid POC tests for other bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.
This is a rapid POC test for detection of dapsone in the urine of patients with leprosy who are being treated with the antibiotic dapsone. Leprosy is one of diseases, like Tb that was thought to have declined to a very low level. However, over the past 10 years there has been a marked increase in the incidence of the disease despite a programme of distribution of multidrug therapy. One of the reasons for the increase in cases of leprosy is because of non-compliance with anti-leprosy therapy. The plan is that the DapsoScreen test will be evaluated in a region where the incidence of leprosy is high. The test is a colorimetric test that detects dapsone in urine within minutes using the SafeTube device.