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Issue 9, 2016
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High-throughput screening of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in picodroplets

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The prevalence of clinically-relevant bacterial strains resistant to current antibiotic therapies is increasing and has been recognized as a major health threat. For example, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus are of global concern. Novel methodologies are needed to identify new targets or novel compounds unaffected by pre-existing resistance mechanisms. Recently, water-in-oil picodroplets have been used as an alternative to conventional high-throughput methods, especially for phenotypic screening. Here we demonstrate a novel microfluidic-based picodroplet platform which enables high-throughput assessment and isolation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in a label-free manner. As a proof-of-concept, the system was used to isolate fusidic acid-resistant mutants and estimate the frequency of resistance among a population of Escherichia coli (strain HS151). This approach can be used for rapid screening of rare antibiotic-resistant mutants to help identify novel compound/target pairs.

Graphical abstract: High-throughput screening of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in picodroplets

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Article information

08 Feb 2016
23 Mar 2016
First published
01 Apr 2016

Lab Chip, 2016,16, 1636-1643
Article type

High-throughput screening of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in picodroplets

X. Liu, R. E. Painter, K. Enesa, D. Holmes, G. Whyte, C. G. Garlisi, F. J. Monsma, M. Rehak, F. F. Craig and C. A. Smith, Lab Chip, 2016, 16, 1636
DOI: 10.1039/C6LC00180G

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