are reporting development and successful testing of a rapid and
accurate test to tell the difference between bacterial and viral
infections. Those common afflictions often have similar symptoms but
vastly different treatments—antibiotics work for bacterial infections
but not for viruses. The report appears in ACS’ journal Analytical Chemistry.
Marks, Daria Prilutsky, and colleagues cite the importance of
determining the source of an infection in order to quickly start the
right treatment. If left untreated until results of a throat culture,
for instance, are in, bacterial infections can get worse. But needlessly
giving antibiotics to patients with a viral infection could contribute
to the growing problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Since current
diagnostic methods to sort out the two kinds of infection are
time-consuming and may not be completely accurate, the researchers
sought to develop a new test that would enable doctors to rapidly make
the right diagnosis.
found that the immune systems of patients with bacterial infections
behaved differently than the immune systems of patients with viral
infections, and developed a test based on those differences. “The method
is time-saving, easy to perform and can be commercially available,
thus, having predictive diagnostic value and could be implemented in
various medical institutions as an adjunct to clinical decision making,”
say the researchers.
Differentiation between viral and bacterial acute infections using chemiluminescent signatures of circulating phagocytes