Real-time, Low Cost, Point-of-Care Biomimetic Sensors for Pathogen Detection within Clinical Settings, exemplified against Candida auris

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Engineering and Physical Sciences

Abstract

There is an urgent need to develop rapid, inexpensive, point-of-care detection for the multidrug-resistant fungi found in the environment. Candida auris was first described in Japan in 2009. Since then it has caused hospital outbreaks in every continent. In April 2019, it was reported that eight Britons died from C. auris infections and 587 cases were reported in the US. It is a challenge to identify accurately in the clinical laboratory, is inherently resistant to frontline antifungals, and survives on patients' skin and in their immediate environment for weeks or months. It is a serious global health threat with a high mortality in invasive and bloodstream infections. Hospital control procedures have yet to be codified and eradication from the skin can be problematic.

This research will exploit the peculiar salt-tolerance traits of C. auris and the specific mechanisms it uses to recognise a host and then evade the host's defence systems to gain infection. We propose to use scalable manufacturing techniques such as embossing to make single-use, centimetre-scale sensing elements that mimic infection sites' microstructure and chemistry. C. auris has been reported to secrete several hyphae-inhibiting metabolites. These will be exploited to trigger enzymatic cascade reactions and elicit a colour change

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S022201/1 01/04/2019 30/09/2027
2430178 Studentship EP/S022201/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2024 Raissa Barosso