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Study: Test could deliver time- and cost-effective sepsis diagnosis

Category: DNA, Paternity and Genetic testing

A new genetic test geared towards identifying DNA affected by serious infection may help doctors diagnose sepsis more quickly than traditional methods, according to new research.

The study, published in the December 9 online issue of The Lancet, investigated the effectiveness of the Prove-it microarray platform, which examines a series of shortened DNA fragments, in identifying the presence of dangerous bacteria, HealthDay news reports.

According to the research, the microarray platform gave accurate results an average of 18 hours faster than the traditional technique, which relies on a blood-culture method to detect how antibiotics have inhibited the growth of bacteria.

The blood culture technique can take up to five days to render a positive result, identify the bacteria present and their sensitivity to antibiotics.

Though the researchers say the study was not intended to address healthcare costs, they indicated that "the effect of early identification on total patient management might include savings relating to factors such as targeted investigation, length of stay in hospital and outcomes for the patient."

According to the National Institutes of Health, sepsis occurs when a bacterial infection disturbs the immune system, causing small clots that block the flow of blood to vital organs.
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