Diagnosing infections might be better and faster in the future, as researchers developed the universal test for all existing viruses that will efficiently improve the performance of modern medicine.
- The ViroCap has been compared with polymerase chain reaction (PCR), by taking blood, stool and nasal secretions
- It proved itself to be 52% more efficient than PCR
- The new test was also able to detect milder variants, that were harmless, but would’ve went undetected
- Researchers plan more tests, and it will be years before it will be regularly used
The innovative test, called ViroCap, has proven and boasts incredible performances and excellent accuracy that current tests cannot achieve. According to the researchers at Washington University, the exceptional quality of their test covers most viruses found in humans and animals. It was reported that it delved even further into details by detecting even the uncommon and low-level variants.
As stated by Dr. Gregory Storch, a professor of pediatrics, they believe that this will be an essential tool to be used when standardized tests will either fail or the medical health professionals involved will be stumped by an infection. It could potentially provide with fast and accurate diagnoses that might’ve otherwise been missed.
They conducted a series of trials, only a few of the many to come. The team of researchers created a panel of tests for 34 organism families, comparing their results with those from polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The PCR is the standard test for most viruses. The downside is that it can only test for one virus at a time.
The ViroCap, however, can achieve accurate testing for all viruses and their strains in just one test. The trials have revealed that it’s also more sensitive and can catch all the variants even better. While the PCR detected viruses in 10 of the 14 tested patients, the VicoCap found that the remaining 4 were also infected.
In spite of the fact that they were common viruses (influenza B, parechovirus, herpes virus 1, and varicella-zoster), it still marked as an excellent result. None of those placed the patients’ lives in danger, but it proves the scrutinizing attention of the ViroCap.
The second trial was conducted on 8 children, who were afflicted with unexplained and undiagnosed fevers. The PCR test found 11 viruses in their system, while the new test found 18, including the adenovirus B type 3A. While it’s only known to cause a mild respiratory infection, it could shift into graver conditions in certain cases.
According to Todd Wylie, another pediatrics professor at Washington University, the ViroCap test is so “sensitive” that it can detect slight genetic variations of viruses that often cannot be distinguished by today’s tests. Even more, it essentially achieves the feat of detecting them all in one go.
The overall numbers have shown that ViroCap is 52% more efficient than PCR, though it’s still years away from being regularly used for patients. They will conduct more trials to make sure it fully covers the entire panel of viruses. However, it provides great hope that future infections will be caught on much earlier, and more accurately.
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