'Odour-reading' method to detect Clostridim difficile could prevent spread of disease
Testing has begun on a device that can sniff out the presence of the disease causing bacteria Clostridium difficile by smell, thanks to a £1.3m award from the Wellcome Trust.
New strains of Clostridium difficile are making the diarrhoea-causing bacteria a global health problem. In hospitals especially, the bacteria can be extremely harmful.
The new device - OdoReader - can diagnose the superbug Clostridium difficile by 'reading' the odour of stool samples.
Developed by Medical Professor Chris Probert from the University of Bristol and Norman Ratcliffe, Professor of Analytic and Sensor Science from the University of the West of England, the technology enables gasses emitted from faeces to be analysed in under an hour, leading to a rapid and inexpensive diagnosis. Currently it can take up to eight days to analyse stool samples for C.difficule using conventional methods.
Such early detection could reap real health benefits for millions of people and help prevent the spread of infectious disease.
Along with the human cost, Professor Probert estimates it costs the European Union alone, ?several billions every year to manage Clostridium difficile and its consequences', such as closing wards for decontamination following outbreaks of Clostridium difficule. Richard Scrase
Added the 21 April 2010 in category Innovation News