New test identifies bacteria faster
July 3, 2012
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a faster, more specific test for bloodstream infections, which will allow physicians to more accurately prescribe the correct antibiotics to patients. Unlike traditional tests, which can take several days to identify bacteria, the new test works in a matter of hours. It can identify the bacteria’s DNA and detect whether bacteria carry antibiotic-resistant genes.
The customary approach to treating a virus is to prescribe several antibiotics before test results come back, with the hope of correctly guessing which antibiotic will help. Overusing antibiotics can lead to a rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The new test could help minimize the prescription of unnecessary or ineffective antibiotics, according to early supporters of the tests.
Source: NPR Health Blog