The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded more than $11 million in first-year funding for nine research projects supporting enhanced diagnostics to rapidly detect antimicrobial-resistant bacteria.
The awardee institutions will develop tools to identify certain pathogens that frequently cause infections in health care settings and, specifically, those that are resistant to most antimicrobials.
Advancing the development of rapid and innovative diagnostic tests for identifying and characterizing resistant bacteria is a key goal of the President’s recent National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.
Each of the institutions receiving the NIAID awards will develop a diagnostic tool that identifies and provides corresponding antibiotic susceptibility information for one or more of the following bacteria: Klebsiella pneumonia; Acinetobacter baumannii; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Enterobacter species; and Escherichia coli.
The current process for diagnosing some bacterial infections can take up to three days and requires patient samples to be sent to labs where the suspected bacteria is cultured, or grown in a special medium. To make this process more rapid and efficient, diagnostic tools developed by these institutions must provide results in three hours or less and be culture-independent (able to directly detect the specified pathogen from typically sterile sites, such as blood, cerebrospinal fluid or the fluid surrounding the lungs).
The NIAID awards were made to three companies and six academic organizations. Each academic organization partnered with an industrial institution with demonstrated experience in product development to be eligible for the award. The list of recipients includes:
- BioFire Diagnostics, LLC FilmArray Direct: Rapid Diagnosis of Antimicrobial-Resistant Pathogens from Blood 1 R01 AI117035-01
- Brigham Young University, working with collaborators at University of California and Great Basin Corporation Multiplexed, Non-Amplified, Nucleic Acid-Based Identification of Multidrug Resistant Pathogens Using an Integrated Optofluidic Platform 1 R01 AI116989-01
- Denver Health and Hospital Authority, working with collaborators Accelerate Diagnostics Ultrarapid Culture-Independent Detection of High-Priority Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceae Directly from Blood Grant: 1 R01 AI116993-01
- First Light Biosciences, Inc. Rapid Detection of Pathogens and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Directly in Patient Samples 1 R01 AI117058-01
- GeneFluidics, Inc. A Fully Integrated CentriFluidic System for Direct Bloodstream Infection PID/AST 1 R01 AI117059-01
- Johns Hopkins University,working with collaborators at Stanford University School of Medicine A Droplet-Based Single Cell Platform for Pathogen Identification and AST 1 R01 AI117032-01
- The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard RNA-Based Diagnostics for Rapid Pathogen Identification and Drug Resistance 1 R01 AI117043-01
- University of California, BerkeleyConsortium for Drug-Resistant Gram-Negative Pathogen Detection 1 R01 AI117064-01
- University of California, IrvineIntegrated Comprehensive Droplet Digital Detection (IC 3D) System for Rapid Detection of Bacteria and Antimicrobial Resistance 1 R01 AI117061-01
“One way we can combat drug resistance is by developing enhanced diagnostic tests that rapidly identify the bacteria causing an infection and their susceptibility to various antimicrobials,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “This will help physicians determine the most effective treatments for infected individuals and thereby reduce the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics that can contribute to the drug resistance problem.”