Team:Grenoble/Human Practice/Meeting


iGEM Grenoble 2012


Meeting with MD PhD Max Maurin

As we wanted to produce a useful detection device in the medical field, we contacted early on in the project MD PhD Max Maurin heading the infectious agents’ department in the institute of Biology and pathology-CHU Grenoble.

From left to right: Dr.Max Maurin, Nadia, Jérôme

Jérôme explaining the project in order to have the specialist's opinion

He explained to us that one of the major problems in the hospital is nosocomial infections by Staphylococcus aureus. Indeed, in France, nosocomial infections due to S. aureus represent 18.9% of the total nosocomial infections, which is the highest rate after E. coli (24.7%) [1].

In the case of S. aureus two types of detection are used in the laboratory: either PCR or selective growth on agar plates.

If the doctors need a quick answer (within a couple of hours) or suspect resistance to Methicillin they use PCR which is quick but still expensive and needs qualified staff. It costs between 15 and 20 €.

Otherwise, they use the common technique of plate tests. This technique is less expensive (2 €) but needs much more time (48 hours).

Dr.Max Maurin explaining the different pathogen detection methods

The professor also explained that because of the expenses, last year, the hospital couldn’t afford to make an assessment of the contamination level with S. aureus for all the hospital rooms. Such a study should be done at least once a year in order to ensure a safe environment for the medical staff as well as the patients.

So designing a quick, cheap (see our cost assessment) and reliable S. aureus detector is a real need. It would not only increase patients life expectancy by helping prescribe the right treatment on time, but it would also help decrease the expenses and ensure a safe and non-contaminated environment inside the hospital.