Don’t Have Your Fake, or Eat It
Finding counterfeit antibiotics – using a color-changing paper test
Joanna Cummings |
The fight against fake pharma continues: researchers at Colorado State have developed a simple way to detect counterfeit antibiotics using a low-cost paper test. Researcher Charles Henry tells us more.
What was the inspiration behind the test?
For the last decade, I’ve been working with other scientists in the developing world and I learned much about how healthcare works – or doesn’t work – in those countries. This piqued my interest in developing low-cost tests that could improve healthcare for people living in those areas. At the same time, Kat Boehle and I were working on a test for anti-microbial resistance. The test uses an enzyme that bacteria natively produces when it is resistant to some antibiotics to determine if the bacteria is present. In some respects, it was using the bacteria’s own machinery against it. Kat and I realized we could use that same enzyme to test for antibiotics using an assay that was both unique and low-cost (1).
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