Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/19/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Test determines if illness is either viral or bacterial infection, ceasing over-prescription of antibiotics

The overuse of antibiotics in medicine has led to a strain of drug-resistant illnesses that have left the medical community baffled. It's the result of good intentions on the part of many doctors: A patient comes in with a fever and the doctor prescribes antibiotics just in case. These drugs don't work if a virus is to blame. Now, a new test will let physicians know if the ailment is either viral or a bacterial infection, stopping the overuse of antibiotics. 

A negative test for symptoms, i.e. a cough or fever not leading to a common cold diagnosis, can leave the doctor wondering what germ to check for next, or to make a 'guess-timate.'

A negative test for symptoms, i.e. a cough or fever not leading to a common cold diagnosis, can leave the doctor wondering what germ to check for next, or to make a "guess-timate."

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/19/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Virus, infection, test, drug-resistant


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic online) - A blood test to more easily tell when a respiratory illness is due to a virus and not a bacterial infection is being developed by Duke University researchers.

The system takes a fingerprint of the patient's immune system and how the genes are fighting the bug. If the experimental test pans out, it promises to help doctors track mysterious new health threats, such as the next flu pandemic or that mysterious MERS virus in the Middle East.


That viral "signature could be quite powerful, and may be a game-changer," said Dr. Geoffrey Ginsburg, Duke's genomic medicine chief. Team leader Ginsburg says that a study involving 102 people has provided evidence that the test can work.


When symptoms aren't enough for diagnosis, a doctor's suspicion guides what tests are performed. These tests search for a specific pathogen. A negative test for symptoms, i.e. a cough or fever not leading to a common cold diagnosis, can leave the doctor wondering what germ to check for next, or to make a "guess-timate."


Tests performed quickly in an office setting aren't always accurate and can miss infections. Patients may have blood or other samples sent to labs to try to grow any lurking bacteria and tell if it's to blame - and this can take days.


"This is something we struggle with every day," Dr. Octavio Ramilo, infectious disease chief at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio says. Ramilo wasn't involved in the new study. He says that a respiratory virus and a bacterial infection, especially in children "in the beginning look completely alike," he added.


Researchers at a number of universities are trying to harness a fairly recent discovery: As your immune system detects an invading bug, different genes are activated to fend off a viral infection than to fight a bacterial or fungal one. 


These changes occur even before the patient feels any symptoms, forming distinct patterns of RNA and proteins, what's called a genomic fingerprint.


The Duke team discovered 30 genes that are switched on in different ways during a viral attack. The test essentially is a freeze-frame to show "what those genes are doing at the moment in time that it's captured," Duke lead researcher Dr. Aimee Zaas says.


Finally, why is determining that a virus is present - or not, so important? That's enough information to rule out antibiotics, Zaas said. Unnecessary antibiotic use is one factor in the growing problem of drug-resistant germs, which the government blames for more than 23,000 deaths a year.


Click here to learn about our Saint Michael the Archangel conference this Nov 1-3!


---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2016
Universal:
Respect for Women: That in every country of the world, women may be honored and respected and that their essential contribution to society may be highly esteemed.
Evangelization: Holy Rosary: That families, communities, and groups may pray the Holy Rosary for evangelization and peace.



Comments


More Health

Woman diagnosed with 'nightmare bacteria' in US Watch

Image of A woman has been diagnosed with a frightening E. coli superbug in Pennsylvania (Inhabitat).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A 49-year-old Pennsylvanian woman who has not stepped foot outside the United States within the past several months was recently diagnosed with the first case of its kind in the US - a drug-resistant form of E. coli. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The CDC and ... continue reading


HORRIFYING: Abortion mill calls 911 to save baby after botched abortion Watch

Image of A baby is a human being, even before it is born. There should be no question of its right to life.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A chilling recording has been released on a 911 call from an abortion mill, requesting emergency services for a baby who survived an abortion. The call was placed earlier this year and left people wondering about the fate of the baby. It also raised the issue of the ... continue reading


WHAT IS GOING ON? Only 5 percent of terminal cancer patients fully understand their prognosis Watch

Image of A new study reveals 95 percent of cancer patients fail to fully understand their prognosis.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

According to a new study on terminally-ill cancer patients, only five percent of patients fully understood their prognosis, which raises several questions. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Researchers from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Cornell University ... continue reading


TERRIFYING: Real life Dr. Moreau, hard at work developing human-animal hybrids Watch

Image of Pigs like these could soon grow human organs, even brains.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A real life Dr. Moreau is hard at work, trying to create animals that grow organs for humans that can be transplanted without any danger of rejection. His work mixes human and animal genes, giving rise to a host of ethical concerns. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) ... continue reading


Scientists find evidence of life after death! But for some people, it's very bad news... Watch

Image of For half of the people, dying wasn't a pleasant experience.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A British study suggests that life after death is an actual phenomenon, and there's evidence to prove it. A study involving more than 2,000 people found that life continues even after the heart stops beating. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - A major study ... continue reading


The key to a long, healthy life? Go to church! Watch

Image of One study revealed church attendance makes for a healthier life (Shutterstock).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Researchers looking at data of nearly 75,000 middle-aged women nurses in the United States and discovered something wonderful! LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Nurses' Health Study, had the thousands of participants answer several questions, including whether ... continue reading


New TB treatment offers hope Watch

Image of WHO considers new TB treatment (Philippe Schneider/World Vision).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released an announcement that can change lives around the world. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to WHO's website, a new test and treatment for tuberculosis has been created and is currently under review.The ... continue reading


7-year-old boy who grew hair out for cancer patients tragically diagnosed with aggressive stage 4 cancer Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

In a "cruel twist of fate," seven-year-old Vinny Desautels, who grew his hair out for two years to donate to cancer patients, has now been diagnosed with an aggressive stage 4 cancer. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Despite being constantly teased by his peers, ... continue reading


Scientists play God in controversial move to revive the dead Watch

Image of Can scientists bring the dead back to life (Pinterest)?

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

It sounds like the plot to a science fiction story but scientists are about to attempt to bring twenty certified dead people back to life. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Bioquark Inc., a biotech company, has received ethical permission to bring twenty brain-dead ... continue reading


Vatican teams up with United States to fight cancer Watch

Image of Pope Francis and Joe Biden talk cancer research at Vatican.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden paid Pope Francis a little visit on Friday to talk cancer and Christian persecution. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) -  Biden traveled to the Vatican to attend a summit on regenerative medicine. While at the Vatican, Biden pushed ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Christians stand your ground: Graduating class recites The Lords ...
  • Daily Readings for Tuesday, May 31, 2016
  • St. Mechtildis: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, May 31, 2016
  • Advent Prayer HD Video
  • Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 HD Video
  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: God is Good
  • WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES Killer nanny asks judge for freedom because ...

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Second Peter 1:2-7
2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of our ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 91:1-2, 14-15, 15-16
1 You who live in the secret place of Elyon, spend your nights in the ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 12:1-12
1 He went on to speak to them in parables, 'A man planted a vineyard; he ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 30th, 2016 Image

St. Joan of Arc
May 30: St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and ... Read More