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Fighting Antimicrobial Resistance: GoPHAST-R for antibiotic susceptibility testing

Posted on 8 December 2019

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Researchers at the Broad Institute, in America, have developed a new tool to classify bacterial strains with 94-99% accuracy called Genotypic and Phenotypic AST through RNA detection, otherwise known as GoPhAST-R. This approach improves on current growth-based assays in the presence of various antibiotics, which take several days to obtain results and then a clinical decision. 

The GoPhAST-R workflow on the Hyb & Seq detection platform begins once growth is detected in a blood culture bottle.

Furthermore, this technique detects distinct patterns of mRNA expression which can be used to distinguish drug-sensitive from drug-resistant microbes. This can be used to rapidly determine antibiotic susceptibility of pathogens in a sample within 4 hours and can be applied to any bacterial infection and antibiotic.

The ability to quickly and accurately identify the best antibiotic would greatly improve the care of patients with infection, while ensuring that our arsenal of antibiotics is deployed intelligently and efficiently

Deborah Hung, the Broad Institute. Accessed via:

Clinical use of GoPhAST-R has amazing potentials for improving diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases as well as preventing the spread of antimicrobial resistance and the emergence of super-bugs.

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    1. Bhattacharyya, R.P., Bandyopadhyay, N., Ma, P. et al. Simultaneous detection of genotype and phenotype enables rapid and accurate antibiotic susceptibility determination. Nat Med 25, 1858–1864 (2019) doi:10.1038/s41591-019-0650-9
    2. Leah Eisenstadt. Broad Institute. New diagnostic approach rapidly identifies the right antibiotics.
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