Nature Communications publishes Resistell's groundbreaking AST platform

Resistell, an EPFL spin-off developing rapid phenotypic antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST) solutions, announces the peer-reviewed article in the Nature Communications journal. The publication marks the completion of the company’s technology validation stage and showcases the potential of the Resistell nanomotion technology platform as a diagnostic in the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The study including clinical data details Resistell’s novel approach to AST, which unlike traditional methods, does not rely on bacterial growth. Instead, it utilizes nanomotion sensors to detect bacterial vibrations, a method proven to accurately determine antibiotic susceptibility. Resistell’s algorithms were developed using advanced machine learning techniques. They were trained on a large dataset comprising 2762 nanomotion recordings from 1180 positive blood cultures. These samples encompassed 364 Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae isolates exposed to cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones. The technology demonstrated remarkable accuracy rates between 90.5% and 100% during training phases, with independent tests on 223 strains showing accuracies from 89.5% to 98.9%.

The Phenotech platform is being validated in an international multisite clinical study in collaboration with University Hospital Lausanne (CHUV) in Switzerland, the University Hospital Ramón y Cajal in Madrid, Spain and the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria. The test reached an accuracy of 97.6% and a mean time-to-result of 4.24 h, on the first 85 E. coli and K. pneumoniae isolates included in the study.

The next generation device, decreases the test time to only 2 hours and achieves 95.8% accuracy on the combination antibiotic ceftazidime-avibactam commercialized by Pfizer as Zavicefta.

“No other phenotypic AST can deliver accurate results in just 2 hours. This means physicians get crucial antimicrobial resistance information much faster than current technologies permit and can make improved treatment decisions that save lives,”

says Dr. Danuta Cichocka, Resistell CEO.

“Resistell’s 2-hour AST can become a game-changer for critically ill patients with bloodstream infections, where every hour of delayed treatment increases the risk of death. This ultra-rapid AST enables the swift administration of critical last-resort drugs to those in dire need, while also facilitating the use of narrow-spectrum antibiotics for others, promoting antibiotic stewardship,”

confirms Prof. Gilbert Greub, Director of the Institute of Microbiology at the University of Lausanne (UNIL), Head of Microbiology Diagnostic Laboratories at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and attending physician in infectious diseases.

“This is an improvement in real-time antimicrobial susceptibility testing that can greatly benefit patient management and the interventions of the antimicrobial stewardship team,”

said Prof. Rafael Canton, Head of Clinical Microbiology Department at Ramón y Cajal University Hospital in Madrid, Spain.

Sturm et al. 2024 Nature Communications
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-024-46213-y

Nature Communications publishes Resistell's groundbreaking AST platform