A Blood Test To Determine When Antibiotics Are Warranted
Scientists can assay gene activity to distinguish between bacterial and viral infections.
July 7, 2016|
Scientists can distinguish between a viral and a bacterial infection by assaying just seven human genes, according to a study published this week (July 6) in Science Translational Medicine. A clinical test based on these findings would enable doctors to more appropriately prescribe antibiotics, which are ineffective against viruses.
This May, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that doctors prescribe antibiotics when they’re not needed in around 30 percent of cases examined. Overuse of these drugs may promote more widespread antibiotic resistance.