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  • 1 TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Institute of Physical Chemistry, Leipziger Str. 29, 09596, Freiberg, Germany
  • 2 Polyphag GmbH, Viersen, Germany
  • 3 Robert Koch Institute, Wernigerode Branch, Wernigerode, Germany
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Abstract

Rapid detection of antibiotic resistances of clinical bacterial strains would allow an early selective antibiotic therapy and a faster intervention and implementation of infection control measurements. In clinical practice, however, conventional antibiotic susceptibility tests of bacteria often need 24 h until the results are obtained. The metabolic heat production of bacteria is an excellent possibility to record their physiological activities and could therefore be used for a rapid discrimination of bacterial strains which are resistant or non-resistant to antibiotics and also to lytic bacteriophages, respectively. Unfortunately, conventional calorimeters suffer from need of comparably large volumes of bacterial suspensions are characterised by slow operation and high costs which restrict their application in clinical laboratories. The present paper demonstrates that a new type of calorimeters developed on silicon-chip technology enables the detection of antibiotic resistances on a minute-timescale. For this reasons, a prototype chip calorimeter was used which sensitivity is 20 nW related to the heat production of about 104 bacteria. For a clear discrimination of antibiotic resistance about 105 bacteria are required. The antibiotic resistances and susceptibilities of different strains of Staphylococcus aureus to cefoxitin and the sensitivities of S. aureus DSM 18421 and E. coli DSM 498 to a mixture of two bacteriophages were studied. Comparing the heat productions of cultures incubated with antibiotics or bacteriophages to those without these antibacterial preparations enabled a clear discrimination of resistant and non-resistant strains already after totally 2 h.

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