Future Medicine: Accurate diagnosis of infection in a day

Draw one vial of blood. Sequence the DNA. And within 24 hrs. you get an accurate diagnose of over 1,000 different kinds of infections – thus not all known infections – whether they be bacterial, viral, or fungal.

That’s what happened when a California biotech start-up was called in as a last resort to solve the case of a 3-year old girl with a rash. She had been tested & treated for weeks with no luck and she was getting sicker. The day after the company was called in they had a diagnosis: “rat-bite fever” – likely from her pet rat – and that told them what antibiotic to use. Case solved.

The CDC using standard diagnostics eventually came to the same conclusion – months later. That lengthy time frame is what gives rise to misdiagnoses, faulty treatments, e.g. the wrong antibiotic, patients getting sicker, or worse. So this technology is a huge deal.

The company is hoping to treat chronically ill patients next. They say It will be some time before the test is used in routine medical care. Here’s an interview with the scientist who did the work:

Doctors say this start-up could revolutionize how we fight infectious diseases from CNBC.

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