The European project BLDetecTool, in which ISGlobal participated, closed with a workshop on innovative solutions for detecting bacteria resistant to clinically relevant antibiotics: betalactams and carbapenems. The event took place on December 13 and 14 in Barcelona, and was an occasion to present the rapid detection device developed throughout the project, the BL-detecTool.
Infections by enterobacterias resistant to betalactams (including penicillin, cephalosporins and carbapenems) in hospital settings represent a major public health threat. Rapid identification of these bacteria is key to determine the proper treatment and thus avoid their spread, but the available tools are time-consuming.
BLDetecTool, funded by EIT Health, was launched one year ago with the aim of developing and validating a simple and rapid technique to detect bacteria producing extended spectrum bectalactamases and carbapenemases – capable of degrading betalactams. The project, coming to its end, organised a workshop with almost 100 world experts to review the current situaton of resistant enterobacteria in Europe, discuss innovative solutions for their detection, and present the device developed and validated throughout the project.
“All the participants agreed that the new device will be of great use in hospital settings, although it will have to be adapted to the context, work flow and needs of each hospital,” explains Clara Ballesté, coordinator of the Antimicrobial Resistance Initiative at ISGlobal. In the next months, the idea is to produce the device with NG Biotech, one of the project partners, and make it available to hospitals.
The experts also discussed the opportunities and challenges of transferring this tool to low-income countries, and raised a series of issues related to its future use in routine laboratories.