The prevalence of clinically-relevant bacterial strains resistant to current antibiotic therapies is increasing and has been recognized as a major health threat. For example, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus are of global concern. Novel methodologies are needed to identify new targets or novel compounds unaffected by pre-existing resistance mechanisms. Recently, water-in-oil picodroplets have been used as an alternative to conventional high-throughput methods, especially for phenotypic screening. Here we demonstrate a novel microfluidic-based picodroplet platform which enables high-throughput assessment and isolation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in a label-free manner. As a proof-of-concept, the system was used to isolate fusidic acid-resistant mutants and estimate the frequency of resistance among a population of Escherichia coli (strain HS151). This approach can be used for rapid screening of rare antibiotic-resistant mutants to help identify novel compound/target pairs.
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- School of Engineering & Physical Sciences - Associate Professor
- School of Engineering & Physical Sciences, Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering - Associate Professor
Person: Academic (Research & Teaching)