Toward a universal medical test?

UC San Francisco scientists have developed a single clinical laboratory test capable of zeroing in on the microbial miscreant afflicting a patient in as little as six hours – irrespective of what body fluid is sampled, the type or species of infectious agent, or whether physicians start out with any clue as to what the culprit may be.

The test will be a lifesaver, speeding appropriate drug treatment for the seriously ill, and should transform the way infectious diseases are diagnosed, said the authors of the study, published Nov. 9 in Nature Medicine.

The advance here is that we can detect any infection from any body fluid, without special handling or processing for each distinct body fluid,” said study corresponding author Charles Chiu, MD, PhD, a professor in the UCSF Department of Laboratory Medicine and director of the UCSF-Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center.

Here is the full story, via David Lim.

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