Qatar contributes to the medical field with its recent development of a new inexpensive and in-house preparation methodology.
Qatar Foundation’s international biomedical institute of excellence, Sidra Medicine, has developed a new blood processing method to identify bacteria and its other microbe counterparts in blood infections, that produces results in a very short period of time.
The new methodology has essentially transformed the test results time process of bacterial and fungal identification from a span of days to minutes.
This allows for an earlier detection of a potential bloodstream infection, which in turn enables the medical team to initiate the suitable antimicrobial therapy as well as infection containment measures at the hospital, Sidra Medicine reported.
This new development is currently being applied to rapidly test for blood infections in children admitted to Sidra Medicine.
As per the report, the method used in the procedure is based on “matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS).”
“Sepsis, which is caused by harmful bacteria, can be life-threatening unless immediately treated with appropriate antibiotics. Our study demonstrated outstanding performance and early improvement on the management of paediatric bloodstream infections. The procedure is also very cost effective compared to other methodologies being used globally,” stated Dr. Andrés Pérez-López, a senior attending physician in Microbiology who also led the study at Sidra Medicine.
The methodology has been published in the major microbiology journal, Microbiology Spectrum. The study pertaining to this new methodology was conducted over a two-year period, between June 2018 and May 2020, at Sidra Medicine in Doha.
The research article specified that this type of analysis has “seldom” been studied.
Other methods through which the direct identification by MALDI-TOF (DIMT) was used on positive blood cultures by “Sepsityper kit and in-house pellet preparation” methods has been increasingly used to test adults and children (to a lesser extent).
Views on this new methodology
Dr. Pérez-López further commented on the bi-directional benefit of the new processing method, saying, “it will help physicians effectively prescribe antibiotics to pediatric patients before the standard culture and antibiotic susceptibility test results are available. Also, by being on an antibiotic which is more effective, will help patients recover early.”
Dr. Patrick Tang, Division Chief of Microbiology at Sidra Medicine expressed, “I am really proud of how our team continually innovates and seeks to improve patient care outcomes at Sidra Medicine. Rapid identification methods like the MALDI-TOF MS can quickly save lives, because it is inexpensive, user-friendly, and easily integrated into a standard laboratory workflow.”
The processing innovation has led other hospitals in Qatar to implement the methodology as well, Dr. Tang further stated that, “with the study now being published, we hope it will also encourage other hospitals to take up the methodology.”
This new milestone builds on Qatar’s existent impetus of attaining high levels of achievements in the country’s research and medical sector.