A simple test to identify MRSA in wounds could identify the superbug quickly and help prevent infection from spreading.
Scientists have developed the test to show whether wounds or lesions are infected with bacteria and if MRSA is present.
The test, developed at the University of Edinburgh in collaboration with NHS Lothian, works by taking swabs from a wound or sores, which are then analysed using a strip with electrical sensors that can detect MRSA.
Researchers currently process the swab samples in the laboratory to increase the amount of bacteria present before testing them, but hope to avoid the need for this in the future by improving the strip's sensitivity.
This would enable scientists to develop a test that could be used outside the laboratory, for example in GP practices or people's homes.
The ability to detect the bacteria more quickly than with conventional tests would enable more effective drugs to be given to the patient straight away.
Currently, laboratory tests to confirm whether MRSA is present in a wound can take a full day using conventional techniques.