New Blood Test to Identify Infections Could Reduce Global Antibiotic Overuse; Eight-Gene Signature Distinguishes, with 90% Accuracy, Between Bacterial and Viral Infections

In developing countries, most antibiotic prescriptions are not only pointless--an estimated 70% to 80% of them are given for viral infections, which the medications don’t treat--they’re also harmful, as overuse of antibiotics accelerates antibiotic resistance. A similar problem exists in the United States, where an estimated 30% to 50% of antibiotic prescriptions are given for viral infections. Now, a new gene expression-based test developed by Stanford Medicine researchers and their colleagues could allow doctors around the world to quickly and accurately distinguish between bacterial and viral infections, thereby cutting down on antibiotic overuse. The test is based on how the patient’s immune system responds to an infection.

Login Or Register To Read Full Story