Call us: 1.877.283.7882 | Monday–Friday: 8:00 AM–4:30 PM ET

Private MD News

Home | News | Infectious Diseases

Newly developed gene test may help identify early-stage Candidemia

Category: Infectious Diseases

Researchers at Duke University's Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy have reportedly developed a new gene-expression test capable of identifying early signs of the life-threatening infection known as Candidemia.

Commonly found in very sick or immunocompromised patients, candidemia is caused by the fungal pathogen Candida. If not identified immediately, the blood stream infection can kill between 10 and 15 percent of patients within the first 24 hours. If the disease goes undetected for 72 hours, the mortality rate rises to 30 percent.

People at a high risk of developing the infection include HIV/AIDS patients, people with extreme neutropenia, babies with low birth weight and those with intravenous catheters. Symptoms of candidemia range from mild to extreme, and are often compared to feeling of having the flu.

Over the years, the greatest challenge for doctors in diagnosing candidemia is that its symptoms are commonly associated with other serious bloodstream infections. It often takes hospitals as long as three days to receive the results of blood culture tests, which are not always completely accurate.

Due to the fast-acting nature of candidemia, developing an early detection method is paramount. Using a mouse model, the scientists from Duke believe that they have identified a group of genes that can help doctors distinguish patients infected with candidemia from those afflicted with different types of blood infections.

In the study, the researchers infected one group of lab mice with candidemia and another with a similar staph infection. They then compared their blood samples to those of healthy subjects.

When looking at the genes associated with immune response, the researchers identified two groups of genes that could discriminate among the three groups of mice.

"Our results show that this new gene-signature test works well to find candidemia in mice that had the infection versus mice without infection," said co-lead author Aimee Zaas, assistant professor of medicine in the Duke division of infectious diseases and international health.

"We were very pleased to learn that we could further distinguish the fungal infection from a staph infection, another bloodstream disease that shares the same set of symptoms," she added.

Moreover, the researchers identified distinct groups of genes that correlate with blood samples at different points during the course of the infection. With this data, Zaas and her colleagues believe that doctors may be able to differentiate between early and late stages of the infection, and can modify treatment options accordingly.

Although the study was conducted using an animal model, the researchers are now working on a gene-expression test that can differentiate candidemia from other infectious diseases in humans.

"This work is part of a portfolio of blood gene-expression-based tests we are developing to detect viral, bacterial and now fungal infections that will lead to more precise diagnosis and more appropriate therapies for infectious disease," said co-author Geoffrey Ginsburg, director of the university's Center for Genomic Medicine. "This is personalized medicine."

The findings appear in the current issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Related Articles from Private MD:

Share on Facebook

Subscribe to Private MD Health News RSS Feed: Subscribe

News Categories:

Advanced Lipid Treatment I   Allergy Testing   Anemia and RBC disorders   Autoimmune Diseases   Bariatric Lab Testing   Blood and Blood Diseases   Breast   Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers   Celiac Disease Testing   Chlamydia   Coagulation and blood clotting disorders   Colon   Diabetes   DNA, Paternity and Genetic testing   Drug Screening   Environmental Toxin Testing   Female Specific Tests   Gastrointestinal Diseases   General Health   General Wellness   Heart Health and Cholesterol   Herpes   HIV   HIV monitoring/Treatment/Testing/Post Diagnos   Hormones and Metabolism   Infectious Diseases   Infertility Testing-Male   Infertitlity Hormone Testing   Kidney Diseases   Leukemia and WBC disorders   Liver   Liver Diseases   Lyme Disease   Male Specific Tests   Menopause/Peri-Menopausal Diagnosis   Musculoskeletal Diseases   Organ Specific Testing   Ovarian   Prostate   Sexually Transmitted Diseases   Thyroid Diseases   Transgender Hormone Testing-female to male   Transgender Hormone Testing-Male to Female   Vitamin D Deficiency-Diagnosis and Treatment   

Visit the Health News Archive: Click Here

Questions about online blood testing or how to order a lab test? Click here to get started or call us toll-free at 1.877.283.7882. Our professionals are ready to assist you.

Back to top