Scientists can now detect antibiotics in fingerprints, aiding the fight against drug-resistant TB

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A fingerprint may soon be all a doctor needs to check whether tuberculosis patients are taking their antibiotics, thanks to a new study led by the University of Surrey. The study is published in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents.

Scientists successfully detected the drugs in finger sweat—and with almost the same accuracy as a blood test.

Professor Melanie Bailey, an analytical chemist and co-author of the study from the University of Surrey, explained, “Up until now, blood tests have been the gold standard for detecting drugs in somebody’s system. Now we can get results that are almost as accurate through the sweat in somebody’s fingerprint. That means we can monitor treatment for diseases like tuberculosis in a much less invasive way.”

Curable tuberculosis (TB) is treated with antibiotics. If patients don’t stick to their full course, the treatment might not work, leading to drug-resistant TB instead. Scientists wanted to know when was best to test, and whether they could tell how much medication the patient had taken.

To do so, they tested ten TB patients at the University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG), in the Netherlands.




Article can be accessed on: MedicalXpress