The traditional detections principles have been refined, and novel molecular-based assays have emerged, but the standard assays are still based on the traditional ‘Pasteur-era’ of growing bacteria and counting the colonies. The molecular-based technologies like mass spectrometry and DNA sequencing are very successful in the arena of typing and identifying bacterial species, but the real goal is to find detection techniques that can rapidly and un-biasedly determine the actual response to antibiotic treatment. To finally enter a new era of antibiotics development, an unbiased phenotype assay is required that can be used both for the development of new antibiotics and for determining the resistance patterns in clinical isolates.
One of the real phenotype assays available for determining antibiotic resistance is the use of microcalorimetry. Microcalorimetry is a label–free assay that monitors the metabolic heat output from living cells in real-time with a superior sensitivity to the traditional optical-based detection. The calorimetric assay can be deployed for all types of microorganisms from bacteria, both aerobes and anaerobes, as well as fungal pathogens. Since the detection principle is based on the metabolic output of cells, there is no need to have prior knowledge of the resistance mechanism involved - in contrast to molecular-based assays any genetic variation or naturally emerging resistance will be detected. The calorimetric assay is also fully capable of determining the co-operative effects of combination treatments in the case of multiple antibiotic resistance.
Magnus Jansson, CSO, SymCel commented: “We predict that the recent developments in calorimetric equipment – enabling small volume samples and multichannel equipment adapted to microbiological laboratory settings to be had, will lead the way to new tools in the fight against antibiotic resistance, both in the development of totally novel drug-classes and as a tool for in vitro diagnostics and resistance stewardship.”
SymCel provides a novel cell-based assay tool for real time cellular bioenergetics measurements. SymCel is a privately held biotechnology company located in northern Stockholm Sweden, a region well known for high tech telecom and med-tech industry development.
SymCel was founded by Dr Dan Hallen and Prof. Ingemar Wadsö in 2004. The founders have an extensive background in the field of calorimetry measurement and technology development. The current research team at SymCel has extensive experience of multiple disciplines within the biotechnology industry as well as the pharmaceutical development industry.
SymCel develops and markets analytical instrumentations that fulfil an unmet need for cell biological research and development, within R&D departments of the Life Science industry, as well as academic research laboratories. Our solution is a fast label-free assay technology providing real-time continuous data monitoring of cell metabolism.