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Outside the Lab Microbiology and immunology, Technology and innovation, Point of care testing

Pathogens Unveiled

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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      About the Author

      Ephraim Tsalik

      Ephraim Tsalik is Assistant Professor of Medicine, specializing in infectious diseases, at the Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, USA.

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