Israeli scientists report that a new blood test can tell the difference between bacterial and viral infections and help sick patients get the treatment they need to feel better, quicker.
These common afflictions often have similar symptoms, but require different treatments—antibiotics work for bacterial infections and not viral ones.
Because current diagnostic methods to sort out the two kinds of infection are time-consuming and may not be accurate, investigators Robert Marks, Daria Prilutsky, and their colleagues sought to develop a new test that would enable doctors to rapidly make the right diagnosis.
They 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,” say the researchers.
“Just as soon as a manufacturer steps in to provide the funding,” replies Dr. Marks in an email.
The report appears in ACS’ journal Analytical Chemistry.