The use of light could detect bacteria faster than the current laboratory based detection, which may take hours or even days, say British scientists.
Sheila MacNeil and researchers at Sheffield University have identified a method that could ascertain the presence of bacteria in less then a minute by using light, reported the online edition of BBC News.
The technology could have wide applications in wound healing, counter-terrorism and screening patients for MRSA (bacterial) infection, the experts said.
The scientists are developing a portable kit in which specially designed molecules emit a light signal when bound to bacteria. The kit, which could be available in three years, could also be used to detect the deliberate release of bacteria, for example in an anthrax attack.