Computer programme predicts antibiotic resistance in three minutes

Mykrobe software uses genome sequence data to predict resistance to 12 antibiotics in retrospective study.

Screenshot of Mykrobe, a computer programme that predicts antibiotic resistance in three minutes

Microbial genome sequencing has the potential to be a powerful tool in the fight against antibiotic resistance. However, widespread use is currently held back by the need for substantial computer power and the complexity of the data produced. 

meResearchers from the University of Oxford have now developed a computer program called Mykrobe that could predict antibiotic resistance in only three minutes. 

Sample of Mykrobe, the new computer programme that could predict antibiotic resistance in only three minutes


In a retrospective study, published in Nature Communications (online, 21 December 2015)[1]
, researchers used raw sequence data from more than 4,000 Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis samples to test the Mykrobe software. Resistance to 12 antibiotics was predicted with a high level of accuracy. 

The software is currently being trialled in three UK hospitals as part of a programme to make whole genome sequencing a routine tool for infection control in the NHS.


[1] Bradley P, Gordon NC, Walker TM, et al. Rapid antibiotic-resistance predictions from genome sequence data for Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Nature Communications 2015; 6: 10063. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10063

Last updated
Clinical Pharmacist, CP, February 2016, Vol 8, No 2;8(2):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2016.20200418

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