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Rapid tests can prevent antibiotic misuse: Experts

Experts speaking at a roundtable in New Delhi
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Experts speaking at a roundtable in New Delhi

BS RAWAT
NEW DELHI:
With 10 million people expected to die globally by 2050 because of drug-resistant superbugs, new rapid diagnostic tests are urgently needed to reduce misuse and overuse of antibiotics, said experts.

The experts were speaking at a roundtable hosted by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and Nesta Challenges in New Delhi on ‘The role of rapid tests in the fight against AMR.’

Dr Sundeep Sarin, Advisor Scientist-G, Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India, said: “It is not acceptable that patients still have to wait for a minimum of 24 hours to identify the right antibiotic to kill an infection. This is why the Department of Biotechnology and BIRAC have been collaborating with the Longitude Prize since 2014.”

He stated, “We are giving support to Indian inventors and test makers so that they can find solutions that will be used around the world to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR).”

Prof Till Bachmann, University of Edinburgh, said: “Today things are moving fast with new technologies enabling creation of a range of highly innovative tests that will allow more rational use of antibiotics. The market entry and adoption of these new diagnostics need to be supported so they reach patients as soon as possible.”

Dr. Sanjay Bhattacharya, Consultant Microbiologist, Tata Medical Center, Kolkata, said: “Today was a unique opportunity to bring test developers together with clinicians and lab experts. This is an important exercise because test developers need to understand the questions we need to answer in hospitals and clinics.”


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