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Faster diagnostics, personalized antibiotics needed to halt superbugs

Media Contact

Jeff Tyson

Bacteria resistant to most antibiotics are surfacing across the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and health officials are grappling with how best to respond.

Ilana Lauren Brito

Assistant professor of biomedical engineering

Ilana Lauren Brito, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Cornell University, studies the human microbiome and the mechanisms behind antibiotic resistance. She says it isn’t too surprising that superbugs are emerging and that stopping them requires financial commitments — and better tech.

Brito says:

“The challenge is being able to detect these organisms and identify mitigation strategies to prevent their spread to highly vulnerable populations, including immune compromised individuals and the elderly.

"Staying ahead of these organisms is key and will require a concerted effort from public health agencies, hospitals and biomedical researchers. We need better, faster diagnostic technologies and this requires financial commitments and incentives to develop them.

"We want to be able to personalize antibiotic use so that it takes into account what is lurking in individual's bodies. We want to not only effectively treat infections the first time around, but at the same time, not promote the overgrowth of antibiotic resistant organisms.”

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