With the scientific world working on cures for as many diseases as possible, it’s kind of impossible for improper treatments not to be prescribed. And it does happen – a lot. For this, a team of researchers from the Duke University came up with a blood test to determine need for antibiotics via gene signatures.
- The paper was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine on January 20th
- The blood test works by testing which genes are active and which aren’t
- Duke University scientists got an 87% accuracy chance, and are working on making it 100%
- Currently it takes around half a day, but the team is working on making it ready in an hour
- It is going to be run in any clinical lab with already existent equipment
Antibiotics are a very dangerous form of medicine. Not only can they ruin your stomach and intestinal faunas, but if used improperly they can lead to widespread public health issues.
Such is the case with gonorrhea, as due to improper use, a number of antibiotic resistant strains have started to manifest.
In an attempt to prevent such a thing from happening with the influenza virus so as to avoid a Captain Trips type scenario, a team of researchers from the Duke University came up with a simple blood test to test whether a respiratory air-borne disease is viral or bacterial.
But they didn’t stop there, as the test can currently differentiate with 87% accuracy whether the patient is suffering from the common cold, from bacteria, from influenza, from a rhinovirus, and from a wide array of other infectious diseases. It can also detect the lack of an infection.
The test works by using a few drops of the patient’s blood to test what genes are active inside the patient.
Depending on what genes are active, it’s very easy to tell what the patient is suffering from.
The team isn’t only working on a way to improve the test’s accuracy to 100%, but also on a way to have the test be results be ready in an hour instead of the current half a day.
Also, wanting to make the test available to everyone, the researchers focused on having it be easily performed in pretty much any current clinical lab that has modern day equipment.
Having very high hopes for their new blood test, the team is hoping that within a few year of finishing fully developing it, most airborne respiratory infections will be things of the past.
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