INITIATIVE NEWS: Establishment of rapid diagnostic method to detect rifampicin resistance 


Sasakawa Health Foundation is supporting research being conducted by Koichi Suzuki, professor of medical technology at Teikyo University, and Kei Mikita, assistant professor of infectious disease medicine at Keio University School of Medicine, which aims to develop a rapid diagnostic method for detecting rifampicin-resistant Mycobacterium leprae that can be easily performed anywhere without the need to transport specimens to a specialized laboratory and that can provide results on site by the following morning.

The research addresses concerns that Single-Dose Rifampicin Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (SDR-PEP), which involves the administration of the single antibiotic drug rifampicin, could result in microbial substitution and the spread of rifampicin-resistant bacteria. A method to detect rifampicin-resistant bacteria in patients prior to SDR-PEP will ensure the efficiency of disease control efforts. Evaluation of the method is scheduled to conclude in March 2022.

Project title: “Establishment and evaluation of rapid diagnostic method to detect rifampicin-resistant Mycobacterium leprae for efficient SDR-PEP”
Principal investigator: Professor Koichi Suzuki, Department of Clinical Laboratory Science, Faculty of Medical Technology, Teikyo University, Japan
Co-investigator: Assistant Professor Kei Mikita, Department of Infectious Diseases, Keio University School of Medicine, Japan