Scientists from Duke University are trying to develop private blood tests that can identify the type of illness—bacterial or viral—and correspondingly, make a conclusion if medicine is necessary.
To find the cause of the illness, the new device needs only a couple drops of blood, which is amazing.
According to the Health Newsline report, the most common reason why people go to the doctor is a respiratory infection.
Ephraim L. Tsalik, M.D., Ph.D., Duke professor of medicine and doctor at emergency division at the Durham Medical Center has shared some interesting insights on this topic. According to him, there is no highly accurate way to determine whether the infection is bacterial or viral; even a huge amount of information cannot help doctors make the right decision all the time. More than half of the patients use antibiotics to recover from a bacterial infection when in fact they have a viral infection. Usually, people want to be double-sure, that is why they do not wait for the treatment that spares the organism and take loads of antibiotics. Tsalik believes that the use of antibiotics has to be restricted as it is risky both for the patient and for the public health.
There is no doubt that determining the illness type is a difficult task, but the new medical breakthrough will save many lives.
On Jan. 20, Tsalik, Woods, and their team made a report on their study, which was published in the Science Translational Medicine.
A blood test that is able to determine the infection type already exists. However, the latest innovation of the Duke professors is much more efficient, as Modern Readers says.
Tsalik claims that taking into account modern doctors prescribing antibiotics to those patients that do not need them, their new blood test is an improvement of today’s test version.
The researchers from Duke also hope to minimize the blood testing time from 10 hours to one hour.
The scientists do not plan on stopping on that they have already achieved. Their aim is much more grandiose—to make the private blood test available not just in some specialized centers, but also at workplaces, at patients’ bedsides, and many other places.