All people should face the truth that doctors don’t always know what’s wrong with their patients. It often happens that a patient presents with high fewer and the doctor doesn’t know what’s causing it so he or she prescribes antibiotics. Nonetheless, if the problem is caused by a viral infection, the antibiotics will not work.
Researchers from Duke University
At the moment the researchers of Duke University are working on a new kind of blood test that will be able to tell whether a respiratory illness is caused by a viral infection or a bacterial infection. This way people will take fewer antibiotics and the doctors will be able to put the right diagnosis faster.
The test is supposed to take a fingerprint of the immune system to see how the genes work for fighting the infection. In our days the tests don’t work this way and if the new kind of testing is successful, it has become easier for the doctors to keep track of the new kinds of infections.
All doctors know by now that it’s not enough to take into consideration the symptoms that a patient has. In many cases the tests ran are determined by the suspicions of a doctor. If the tests come back negative the doctor will be asking what other tests to run or whether it would be better to make an educated guess.
Although these kinds of tests don’t take long, they often miss the right diagnosis and they can turn out to be misleading. As a result in many cases blood is drawn and sent for testing, but it might take days for the results to come back.
The Starting Point
The researchers of several universities are trying to find a solution. When there is an infection in the organism, the genes get activated to fight it off. The molecular changes take place even before the patient notices ay symptoms. Different patterns of proteins and RNA are formed and this is what the specialists mean by fingerprint.
The research team of Duke University has found 30 genes until this point that become activated in case of a viral infection. First the scientists worked with people who accepted to be infected with different kinds of viruses. Than they moved on to samples from patients to went to the emergency room and were later diagnosed the old fashioned way.