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New DNA-Based Bacteria Tests Yield Faster Results

Last Updated: December 10, 2009.

A new DNA-based microarray platform can detect and identify bacterial species with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity and faster than the current gold-standard culture-based method, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in The Lancet.

THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- A new DNA-based microarray platform can detect and identify bacterial species with a high degree of sensitivity and specificity and faster than the current gold-standard culture-based method, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in The Lancet.

Päivi Tissari, M.D., of Helsinki University Hospital Laboratory in Finland, and colleagues conducted a study of the 2,107 positive samples of 3,318 samples taken from patients with suspected sepsis, and analyzed them with the conventional culture-based method and the Prove-it sepsis assay, manufactured by Mobidiag in Helsinki, Finland.

Taking 18 fewer hours than the conventional assay, the DNA-based assay had 94.7 percent clinical sensitivity and 98.8 percent specificity, and had 100 percent sensitivity and specificity for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia, the researchers discovered. The new test opens up the possibility of faster evidence for diagnosis and treatment of clinical sepsis.

"The early knowledge provided by this new diagnostic platform could be easily integrated into everyday laboratory workflow in primary-care and secondary-care settings," the authors write. "Accordingly, we are prospectively investigating the platform's potential contribution to clinical outcomes and management pathways, and its implementation for rapid routine diagnosis of a range of pathogens in both developed and developing countries."

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