Thomas Edwards

Detecting bacterial drug resistance

One-stop diagnosis of antimicrobial resistance

Summary: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health priority, and improved diagnostics are urgently needed to enhance the control of drug resistant bacteria. My project aims to develop a “one stop” diagnostic system for the detection of a wide range of mutations and genes that confer drug resistance I will be collaborating with BioGene (Cambridge, UK) to produce a highly multiplexed test on their QuType system, capable of simultaneously detecting up to 40 genetic markers of resistance. 

Current testing methods, relying on bacterial culture, do not provide timely results and delay decision making. By using molecular methods, I hope to provide quicker results to clinicians, enabling more accurate antimicrobial therapy and improved interventions for the appropriate use of antimicrobials. This should have a positive impact on patient care and provide health officials with up-to-date surveillance data to make informed decisions around antibiotic use. 

The test will be designed to detect drug resistance patterns in both low and high income countries, and will be evaluated using bacteria collected from patients in the UK, Nepal and Malawi. 

Thomas's staff profile can be found here.