Antimicrobial Resistance


Antimicrobial resistance is a growing health problem. Treatment of bacterial infections with an ineffective antimicrobial agent can lead to increased pathogen growth and spread, thus leading to higher rates of mortality. Clinical laboratories will often determine the susceptibility of the bacterial isolate to a multitude of different antimicrobials in order to determine the most effective antimicrobial agent for treatment. Unfortunately, current antimicrobial susceptibility assays continue to be based on time consuming culturing methods. For this reason, newer methods for determining antimicrobial susceptibility need to be developed.

Antimicrobial resistance is often results from a chemical modification of the antimicrobial to an inactive form by the organism. New techniques such as selected reaction monitoring (SRM) have the potential to quickly identify and monitor these modifications in an unprecedented time scale. This greatly reduces the time necessary to determine the susceptibility or resistance of an organism to a particular antimicrobial. SRM also has the ability to simultaneously determine chemical changes to a multitude of different antimicrobials by an organism. Therefore, many antimicrobials could potentially be screened in a single assay. These benefits would potentially decrease both patient morbidity and mortality.