Antibiotic resistance is one of the world’s most serious health threats. Here’s how Israeli scientists are trying to overcome the problem.

10 Israeli innovations that will outsmart superbugs

By —— Bio and Archives--September 13, 2017

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Antibiotics are one of the most effective ways to treat bacterial infections. However, they have been overprescribed and misprescribed for years, leading to the development of bacterial strains that are resistant to specific antibiotics.

The World Health Organization considers this one of the biggest threats to global health because antimicrobial resistant (AMR) infections kill more than 700,000 people worldwide every year.

Israeli researchers and entrepreneurs are approaching the problem from various different perspectives. Here are 10 promising advances.

Customized antibiotics
The SNDA-AST diagnostic system, developed in the biomedical engineering lab of Prof. Shulamit Levenberg at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, enables rapid and accurate antibiotic customization for each patient.

The point-of-care system, not yet commercialized, quickly analyzes bacteria isolated from urine samples and assesses their level of resistance to specific antibiotics. This enables the doctor to choose the most effective antibiotic immediately, rather than starting treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics – which can cause AMR and kill “good” bacteria — while awaiting lab results from traditional cultures.

Distinguishing bacterial from viral infections

MeMed of Tirat Carmel has developed a pioneering point-of-care platform that can distinguish bacterial from viral infections. This helps doctors avoid prescribing antibiotics before knowing if the infection actually is bacterial.

ImmunoXpert, the first generation of this novel test, is in use in the European Union, Switzerland and Israel, and a broader commercial roll-out is underway. A $9.2 million contract from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) of the US Department of Defense will help develop an advanced version of the test that will be easier and faster to use.—More…

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