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A New Device and Technology for Detecting Bacterial Infection and its Gram Type in Diabetic Foot Ulcer

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The correct diagnosis and classification of bacterial infection are important for initiating appropriate antibiotic therapy thus leading to a reduction in the incidence of antibiotic-resistant microbial infection. There are many methods to detect wound bacterial infections. The gold standard method, at present, remains the tissue/swab culture along with a sensitivity test. However, new fluorescence-based methods of detecting bacterial infection in a POC (point of care) setting have proved themselves to be simple, prompt, accurate, and affordable. Many commonly infecting bacteria have a characteristic emission auto fluorescence when excited with ultraviolet and blue light. A newly developed hand-held device captures the emitted fluorescence and records the spectral signature of different bacteria. The fluorescence is exhibited because of the metabolic and infectious biomarkers present in a bacterium, e.g., pseudomonas produces pyocyanin, and pyoverdine. Finally, an in-built image processing and machine learning algorithm detects this native fluorescence produced by the bacteria and helps classify them according to their Gram type. We studied 100 patients with diabetic foot ulcers, comparing the results of the routine tissue culture with the Gram type report generated at POC by this novel device and found that this device was able to detect infection with 99.24% sensitivity and 82.35% specificity with that of the gold standard culture test.

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We are thankful to Dr. Diwakar Sharma, Statistician and Assistant Professor, Community Medicine Department, GMERS Medical College, Valsad, for helping us to prepare the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Chetan Kumar Tandel.

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Parekh, J.N., Soni, P., Meena, M.K. et al. A New Device and Technology for Detecting Bacterial Infection and its Gram Type in Diabetic Foot Ulcer. Indian J Surg 84, 990–995 (2022).

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