Scientists at the University of Warwick have shown that bioelectrical signals from bacteria can be used to rapidly determine if they are alive or dead.
The findings offer a new technology which detects live bacteria in minutes instead of waiting for lab-test results which can take days.
When zapped with an electrical field, live bacteria absorb dye molecules, causing the cells to light up and allowing them to be counted easily.
A discovery by researchers at the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick offers a new technology for detecting bacteria in minutes by 'zapping' the bacteria with electricity.
More routine problems like urinary tract infections are difficult to diagnose and some people cannot get a clear answer about their symptoms due to difficulties with detecting low-level infections.
Studies have found 20-30% of urinary tract infections are missed by dipstick tests used for detecting bacteria in the urine.