Lateral Flow Strips for the 21st Century
Accurate determination of oxacillin resistance in staphylococci has been shown to have a major role in controlling outbreaks of MRSA infection, but definitive results from conventional culture and susceptibility testing are generally not available for at least 48 to 72h, resulting in reduced patient throughput, and considerable disruption. Rapid on-site nucleic acid tests exist, but they are expensive and not suitable for in-the-field use.
My project concerns the development of an innovative molecular-based device for the sensitive and specific detection of strains of methicillin (oxacillin)-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA/ORSA) which forms a serious infection control problem in many countries worldwide. The device is similar in parts to a lateral flow type device, delivering a complete on-site nucleic acid test. A sample would be applied to the proximal portion of the device, wherein nucleic acid extraction and purification occur; purified nucleic acids are transported along the device to a portion of the device wherein components of nucleic acid amplification are located. Here target specific sequences of DNA are amplified via isothermal nucleic acid amplification. The presence of large concentrations of the target nucleic acid sequence is indicated by a coloured line located at the distal portion of the strip, alongside relevant controls lines.
This project is in collaboration with SOPHIMARK and is a KESS II funded PhD project.