In some instances, it is very difficult to determine if someone’s illness is due to either a virus or a bacteria. Antibiotics have proved to be formidable weapons against bacteria, but they are ineffective in the case of a disease caused by a virus. Working on this aspect, a team of scientists has discovered that a simple blood test could sort out bacteria from viruses.
Recently, a team of scientists led by Doctor Ephraim Tsalik, an assistant professor working for the Duke University, has announced the discovery of a whole new way to sort out viruses from bacteria. According to the team’s appraisals, in order to see if a patient requires antibiotics or not, the physician needs a couple of drops of blood and one hour.
This is sure to cut back on the amount of time needed to see if the infection is caused by a bacteria or a virus. The test is not entirely due to the fact that traditional testing methods also rely on blood cultures to detect the cause of an infection. Still, more traditional means of testing are considered lengthy at best because one simple blood test could take as much as three days to yield results.
But the team’s blood test could sort out bacteria from viruses in just one hour. The novel test makes use of our genetic reaction towards different invading bodies. So, instead of looking for the signs of viruses or bacteria, the test picks up the different reaction our immune system has towards them. In just one hour, your doctor could tell if you need to use antibiotics or not.
In a press interview, Ephraim Tsalik declared that the new test is sure to benefit a lot of doctors making the call because there are very limited options out there in terms of antibiotic testing.
Although the test is still unrefined, the doctor and his team of scientists assured the public that they are taking all the step in order to boost the efficiency of the blood test. Presently, the test takes about 10 hours, but Tsalik said that with more research he and his team will be able to cut down on that time.
When it will be made available, the test is sure to help a lot of doctors decided whether it is in the patient’s interest to prescribe antibiotics or not. Moreover, such a test could also limit the use or misuse or antibiotics, a somewhat common practice this day, but with severe consequences. Antibiotics misuse could lead to antibiotic-resistant bacteria and far worse symptoms.