Proteus has developed two bacterial SmartProbes which could remove the need to take a sample to a lab in order to determine whether it is Gram-positive or Gram-negative bacteria causing the infection.
The BAC ONE SmartProbe is used first, as it can identify allof the bacteria present in the patient. The SmartProbe inserts itself into the bacteria membranes, binds to them, and fluoresces. This fluorescence is then viewed on a screen at the bedside.
The BAC TWO Smartprobe is used next to distinguish between Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. BAC TWO inserts itself into the membrane of Gram-negative bacteria and fluoresces, making it detectable.
By using the two SmartProbes in conjunction with each other, the clinician is able to tell whether both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria are present, or just Gram-negative. The appropriate antibiotics can then be administered by the patient’s doctor.
Both bacterial probes have been extensively tested in the Proteus labs, and are now in the process of being tested in humans for the first time as part of on-going clinical trials. This is the first time that SmartProbes like these have been used in the clinic for bacterial detection.