Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/19/2013 (1 year 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 (1 year 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Health

Revolutionary! Robotic arm controlled by thought provides breakthrough for paralyzed Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An exciting new breakthrough in robotics may now enable the paralyzed to command helpmates with everyday activity. The breakthrough came in form of 34-year-old Erik Sorto, paralyzed from the neck down after being shot in the back 13 years ago. Thanks to a ... continue reading


Ancient Chinese plant 'thunder god vine' studied as miracle drug for obesity Watch

Image of In developed nations, where food is inexpensive and plentiful, obesity has been an ongoing problem. Obesity causes heart disease, diabetes and increases the risk for heart attack and stroke.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A traditional Chinese medicine known as "thunder god vine" is being heralded by some scientists as the new miracle drug in the war against obesity. Scientists in an article published in the medical journal Cell last week said an extract made from the plant ... continue reading


Brain reset: Scientists uncover unusual way to get rid of brain disorders Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

By implanting special cells that emit GABA into the brains of adult mice scientists found a way to cure certain brain disorders, like lazy eye. Initially an almost impossible endeavor, the experiment led a team of scientists to a way to reset the brain and basically ... continue reading


Health in the United States: Which cities are the healthiest? Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The American College of Sports Medicine has recently released their 2015 American Fitness Index, naming the top three fittest and the least fit cities in the entire United States. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) -  Among the thousands of cities surveyed ... continue reading


Nebraska orders STATE OF EMERGENCY over H5N2 avian flu virus Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A type of avian flu, and unfortunately the most lethal to hit the United States, has posed several concerns for farmers and scientists. So far, the H5N2 strain of the bird flu virus has already killed 15,000 turkeys in Minnesota alone. Now, over 33 million birds in 16 ... continue reading


Why a handshake just might save your life Watch

Image of Handshakes may be able to determine your risk for heart disease or other illnesses.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Are you worried about a heart attack or stroke? Well there may be an easy way to tell if you are at greater risk for either of these diseases, are near death or seriously ill, and you don't need anything more than a hand and a partner. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Are you afraid of needles? Scientist believes he found way to reduce injection pain Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A lot of people, the young and old alike, are really frightened of getting injections, even just the thought of it. The good news is that scientists have discovered a simple answer. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Spanish scientists believe that holding ... continue reading


Woman gives shocking birth to baby born with bladder outside of body Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Born with a rare congenital defect, Baby Lila underwent a unique surgery, shortly after she was born with her bladder outside the body. This defect was detected when the doctor couldn't find her bladder in a sonogram conducted during the 22-week prenatal appointment. ... continue reading


What do healthy people eat for breakfast? 11 healthy breakfast choices from dietitians and experts Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What we eat in the mornings have an effect on our energy levels throughout the day. Here, registered dietitians, personal trainers, health editors and nutritionists, suggest healthy breakfasts for a healthy morning start, with some help from BuzzFeed. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


NOT-SO HAPPY PILLS: Half a million patients die every year from psychiatric drugs Watch

Image of Professor Peter Gotzsche, research director at Denmark's Nordic Cochrane Center says the use of most antidepressants and dementia drugs could be discontinued without harm.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Danish scientist has come forward to proclaim that mood enhancers, "happy pills" and other psychiatric drugs are frequently deadly - killing half a million people a year. Furthermore, he says that these medications are usually ineffective - not producing the ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 35:1-12
1 One who keeps the Law multiplies offerings; one who ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 50:5-6, 7-8, 14, 23
5 'Gather to me my faithful, who sealed my covenant ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:28-31
28 Peter took this up. 'Look,' he said to him, 'we ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 26th, 2015 Image

St. Philip Neri
May 26: If one had to choose one saint who showed the humorous side of ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter