Combatting Antimicrobial Resistance – Molecular Diagnostics Holds the Key

Antibiotic resistant bacteria are one of the major threats to the global healthcare system. Some have commented that it is a more immediate threat to us than global warming. A UK independent review estimated that unless effective action is taken, drug-resistant strains of certain bacterial infections will claim 10 million lives each year by 2050. This would be a horrific and tragic loss of life. This unchecked spread of infectious disease was also predicted to result in an economic cost of 100 trillion USD over the next 35 years (1).

In a recent feature article published in Helsingin Sanomat, esteemed Finnish professor of bacteriology Pentti Huovinen recounts his career to date as an antibiotic researcher and highlights the importance of good antimicrobial stewardship, and protecting the helpful bacteria in our bodies.

Huovinen writes that bacteria are essential and without them life would be impossible. Huovinen is a true pioneer in the field of bacteriology and his work has formed part of a movement that helped to change the perception of bacteria and recognise its significant impact on our health.

According to Huovinen, it is vital that we become better antimicrobial stewards, and it’s not only important to protect good bacteria – it is also critical to prevent the misuse of antibiotics.

The threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and infectious diseases is rising. We will need all branches of the global healthcare system to take responsibility for their approach to antibiotics and work together to sustain them for future use – this includes clinicians, providers, companies and patients alike.

Even before treating conditions related to AMR, it is fundamental that we become smarter at identifying antibiotic resistant bacteria – and their sensitivity to antibiotics – using molecular diagnostics. Many molecular diagnostics systems available today can be complicated and expensive to use.

At Mobidiag our mission is to develop innovative molecular solutions to address the challenges of AMR and infectious diseases by providing diagnostic tools that can rapidly, accurately and affordably detect both pathogens and antibiotic resistances to guide treatment protocols and avoid the misuse of antibiotics. We have developed two highly versatile combined solutions for affordable and differentiated hospital testing: Novodiag® is an advanced multiplex PCR system providing highly sensitive results on demand; and Amplidiag® is a high throughout diagnostic platform allowing for automated, high-volume lab-based routine testing. Together, these platforms meet the differing needs of our customers in multiple healthcare settings.

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(1) Antimicrobial Resistance: Tackling a crisis for the health and wealth of nations, The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance Chaired by Jim O’Neill, December 2014, URL