Researchers are on a mission to develop rapid point-of-care tests to establish infection cause and drive down unnecessary antibiotic use
Ephraim Tsalik |
At a Glance
- Patients with respiratory infections are often prescribed antibiotics, even when the presence of a bacterial pathogen has not been verified
- The dangers of antibiotic overprescription are widely known and documented; the availability of more precise, rapid tests, will help to reduce this growing problem
- A “gene signature” of 130 genes, detectable by a blood test, has revealed different patterns depending on the type of infection a patient has
- Currently, the test requires a full vial of blood and takes a day to process, but development toward a rapid, low-volume, point-of-care test is progressing quickly
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