Saturday, March 21, 2015

New Diagnostic Pathogen Test

The results of a new test that distinguishes between bacterial and viral pathogens was recently revealed by MeMed, a company that specializes in creating diagnostic solutions to equip doctors with the tools to make informed treatment decisions.

Called the ImmunoXpert diagnostic test, the test is an in vitro test that uses the body's immune response to determine the etiology (bacterial or viral) of infection.  This sort of test differs from previous diagnostic tests since it uses the immune response as its means of detections, rather than the pathogen itself.  The rationale behind the test is that viruses and bacteria stimulate different immunological responses, and that these differences can actually be detected.

In a study of more than 1,000 patients, the ImmunoXpert test yielded a sensitivity and specificity of greater than 90%, meaning that it was extremely accurate at detecting true positive cases, as well as true negative cases.  Such results outperformed existing biomarker and laboratory tests.

Given the ImmunoXpert test's accuracy and rapidness, it may serve as a promising new way to help reduce hospital costs and misuse of antibiotics since viruses and bacterial infections are sometimes difficult to distinguish in clinic.

--Andrew Duong

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