Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Blood signatures to diagnose infection

07.09.2010
Coughing and wheezing patients could someday benefit from quicker, more accurate diagnosis and treatment for respiratory infections such as flu, through a simple blood test, according to scientists.

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!
Further information:
http://www.sgm.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Staying in Shape
16.08.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für molekulare Zellbiologie und Genetik

nachricht Chips, light and coding moves the front line in beating bacteria
16.08.2018 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Staying in Shape

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Diving robots find Antarctic seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide in winter

16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Protein droplets keep neurons at the ready and immune system in balance

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>