Today’s Solutions: November 29, 2022

When you go to the doctor with a sickness you can’t seem to shake, the first thing they will usually try to figure out is if they’re dealing with a bacterial or viral infection. Bacterial infections usually require treatment with antibiotics, but prescribing them unnecessarily can contribute to antibiotic resistance and won’t make you feel any better. To help determine the cause of an illness with certainty, a team of researchers is working on a rapid test based on “gene expression.”

Traditionally, doctors screen for bacterial infections by testing for common bacteria, like Streptococcus, or carefully analyzing symptoms to make the call. This new test relies on the fact that each pathogen activates a different set of genes. This in turn varies RNA or protein production, which can be detected in a small blood sample.

The test’s creators partnered with a company called BioFire to test the product on more than 600 emergency room patients. It identified bacterial infections with 80 percent accuracy and viral infections with nearly 87 percent accuracy. The researchers plan to continue to improve the reliability of the test and hope it will soon provide a resource for reducing antibiotic resistance and speeding up patient care.

Source study: Critical Care MedicineDiscriminating Bacterial and Viral Infection Using a Rapid Host Gene Expression Test

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

6 ways to have a positive impact while holiday shopping this year

Making sure your practices align with your values can be tricky all year round, but this is especially true during the holiday season. Here ...

Read More

Here are 10 non-dairy foods that are rich with calcium

Calcium is well known for its ability to build and maintain your bones, but that’s not the only thing it does. It’s also important ...

Read More

You can now take Yale’s most popular class online for free

What is the most popular class at one of the world’s most prestigious schools? At Yale, the most popular course on campus is not ...

Read More

Scientists are battling locust swarms from space

Locust swarms are serious. In a single day, a desert locust swarm (about 40 million bugs) can eat as much food as 35,000 people in a ...

Read More