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Scientists have developed an easy-to-use computer program that can quickly analyse bacterial DNA from a patient's infection and predict which antibiotics will work, and which will fail due to drug resistance.

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The software is currently being trialled in three UK hospitals to see whether it could help speed up diagnosis of drug-resistant infections and enable doctors to better target the prescription of antibiotics.

The Mykrobe Predictor software, developed by Dr Zamin Iqbal and colleagues at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford, runs on a standard laptop or tablet without the need for any specialist expertise. The program can analyse the entire genetic code of a bacterium in under 3 minutes, once a bacterial sample has been cultured and its DNA sequenced.

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