New home diagnostic kit for Pseudomonas aeruginosa under development, following initial research funded by the Trust

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In future people with cystic fibrosis may be able to use a straightforward, non-invasive home diagnostic kit for rapid detection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa). 

The test aims to identify the presence of the bacteria P. aeruginosa, which causes infections that can lead to serious lung damage in people with cystic fibrosis. Once settled in the lungs, it is difficult to treat. Researchers have identified P. aeruginosa’s unique biomarkers, and now aim to create an easy, cost-effective and precise test for early detection of the bug. 

The kit is being developed by experts from the University of Nottingham, with support from an Innovate UK ICURe award. A University spin-out company, MiDx Ltd, has now been formed to develop the kits which will be headed by Dr Shaun N Robertson.  

Through our research, we have developed clinically validated unique biomarkers of P. aeruginosa infection, patented their use and generated antibodies against them with high sensitivity and excellent specificity. This has enabled us to develop a lateral flow test which people with cystic fibrosis will be able to perform themselves at home.

Thanks to our work with ICURe, and follow-on funding, we have been able to lay the foundations for this new spin-out, where we can now look at getting this test to market.

Dr Robertson

The development of the test was supported in its early stages by a Trust Venture and Innovation Award, which support innovative research projects by providing financial support and leveraging funding from external sources. 

A quick and simple test to detect Pseudomonas aeruginosa could be game-changing for those with cystic fibrosis, so we’re delighted the Trust’s early support for this research has moved it a step closer to commercialisation. Rapid detection will allow for swifter treatment, preventing further long-term lung damage.

Dr Lucy Allen, Director of Research and Healthcare data at Cystic Fibrosis Trust

Cystic Fibrosis Trust is funding several research projects to understand and treat lung infections. We are also a managing partner of the CF Antimicrobial Syndicate, which aims to accelerate the translation and adoption of new CF antimicrobials and diagnostics to the clinic. 

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