Infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria are increasing, resulting in more than 50,000 avoidable deaths in North America and Europe every year.1,2 The traditional diagnostic methods such as culture are slow and intensive. More recent methods such as PCR are faster but can only detect the specific genomic targets they are designed for. Therefore, there is a critical need for more rapid phenotypic methods to quickly detect target bacteria and antimicrobial resistance.
Smarticles technology is a new class of molecular diagnostics that provides rapid phenotypic resistance detection, designed to improve the prevention and treatment of drug-resistant infections.
Smarticles technology is based on Smarticles bioparticles, custom-designed DNA packaged into DNA-delivery bioparticles that bind to specific receptors on the surface of target bacteria.
Once the DNA is injected into the bacteria it causes live bacteria to produce light, enabling rapid detection of viable bacteria directly from clinical samples. The technology requires minimal preparation and provides results in hours instead of days when compared to growth-based identification and susceptibility test methods.
Smarticles technology can be used both to detect bacteria and to determine antibiotic resistance.
Target bacteria are detected in a four-step process:
Smarticles technology can also be used to detect antibiotic resistance or susceptibility by adding antibiotics directly to the target bacteria detected by Smarticles bioparticles.
Smarticles technology is an innovative technology that, for the first time, combines the speed and simplicity of molecular diagnostics with the antibiotic susceptibility information that is critical for MDRO surveillance and for assisting physicians in guiding antibiotic therapy.