A New Blood Test Can Reduce Antibiotic Use – A team of scientists from several medical centers in Israel, in collaboration with the company MeMed, developed the new test.
The test can help doctors figure out if an infection is caused by a bacteria or a virus. Routine tests can take several days. While tests of particles in the blood can also help give clues, some are raised in both bacterial and viral infections and in cancer and trauma too. It is for this reason that doctors end up over-prescribing antibiotics, and as we know, antibiotics don’t work on viruses.
In a study, the scientists used the test to analyze blood samples of more than 300 patients who were suspected of having an infection, and found it could correctly detect a virus or a bacterial infection in the majority of cases.
Bacteria and virus trigger different protein pathways once they infect the body. The test looks at what protein pathways get triggered and uses this information to identify whether the bug is a bacteria or a virus. Researchers say that the test is better than the current routine tests and will help minimize the use of antibiotics.