Dr. Aimee Zaas, presenting her work at the Society for General Microbiology's autumn meeting in Nottingham describes how simply looking at an individuals blood 'signature' can be used to quickly diagnose and treat ill patients and could even predict the onset of a pandemic.
The team, from the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy and Duke University Medical Center in the US, looked at the blood of otherwise healthy individuals who had been exposed to rhinovirus, respiratory syncytial virus or influenza. The team found each viral infection stimulated the body to produce a very specific set of immune molecules that could be detected in the blood. Recording the distinct blood signatures for each virus in a database and matching them against blood samples from other ill patients pinpointed the cause of disease with more than 95% accuracy.
Respiratory infections, including colds and flu are a common reason for seeking medical help. As Dr. Zaas highlighted, "Current methods for accurate diagnosis are time and labour intensive and are not always accurate. This means GPs are sometimes overcautious and may prescribe antibiotics unnecessarily, for viral infections. During a pandemic, this has real consequences as there is an increased risk of spreading infection."
Dr. Zaas explained how her test works completely differently to current diagnostic tests as it analyses each individual's immune response to infection, rather than the actual micro-organism responsible. "We effectively look at the imprint in the blood that the virus makes, which is as individual as a signature," she said. "Not only is this much more accurate than traditional testing, it also works much faster as it can be done through a simple blood test."
This work was sponsored by the US Defense Department Advanced Research Projects Agency and is part of a large team effort. If developed further, the findings could be used in emergency departments and primary care clinics to diagnose respiratory viral illness. "This could allow patients quicker access to antiviral drugs, but could also give an accurate warning of an upcoming pandemic," explained Dr. Zaas.
Laura Udakis | EurekAlert!
Cnidarians remotely control bacteria
21.09.2017 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Immune cells may heal bleeding brain after strokes
21.09.2017 | NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
21.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.09.2017 | Life Sciences
21.09.2017 | Health and Medicine