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Antibiotic Resistance Genes, Molecular Detection

This assay detects 17 genes (van A/B, mec A, tem, ctx-М-1, shv, oxa-40-like, oxa-48-like, оxa-23-like, oxa-51-like, imp, kpc, ges, ndm, vim, qnrA, qnrB, qnrS) encoding enzymes that may confer resistance of microbes to carbapenems, penicillins, cephalosporins, methicillin-oxacillin, vancomycin, teicoplanin, and quinolones. This assay is intended for use as an aid to infection control in the detection of antibacterial drugs-resistant bacteria.

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The increasing prevalence of microorganisms strains resistant to antibacterial drugs makes it more difficult to treat patients with bacterial infections. Antibacterial drug resistance hinders effective therapy and contributes to the emergence of chronic and recurrent infections. Diseases caused by antibiotic-resistant strains are characterized by a long duration, the necessity of hospitalization, and a bad prognosis for patients. The microorganisms’ drug resistance can be natural and acquired, but its formation is genetically determined in all cases. Antibiotic resistance genes are often localized on mobile genetic elements and can spread rapidly within the same species and between different bacteria species. Excessive and unreasonable prescription of antibacterial drugs, self-medication, and the usage of antibacterial drugs in stock raising facilitate the intensification of this process.

PCR results correlate with the results obtained by the disk diffusion method and the serial dilution method. PCR diagnostics can significantly decrease the time needed to get the results. It could be critically important for severe infection treatment because the effect of etiological therapy largely depends on the timing of the appropriate antibiotic prescription.

PCR can be used to determine the antibiotic resistance genes in conjunction with microbiological methods to prescribe etiological therapy even before the pathogen’s differentiation in pure culture.

Molecular diagnostics of antibiotic resistance is also recommended when the result of the cultural method has an unclear growth suppression zone. Also, it is possible to combine the PCR assay with microbiological culture methods to determine the antibiotic sensitivity. Determination of antibiotic resistance genes is an important additional clinical information for the doctor.

PCR diagnostics is a direct method that allows the detection of antibiotic resistance genes in difficult-to-culture microorganisms. The result of the PCR study is not affected by the storage conditions of the specimen and culture media.

Furthermore, molecular diagnosis by PCR is a direct method that allows the detection of antibiotic resistance genes in difficult-to-cultivate microorganisms (e.g., anaerobes).

Advantages of molecular diagnosis of antibiotic resistance compared to microbiological methods
  • Additional information about the presence of antibiotic-resistance genes in bacteria can help to reduce the time for choosing the optimal antibiotic therapy.
  • The use of the PCR technique allows for obtaining reproducible results, which do not depend on the features of the microbiological laboratory equipment.
  • The possibility of detecting antibiotic resistance in difficult-to-culture microorganisms.
  • Possibility to study a wide range of biomaterials.
  • High analytical sensitivity.
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