ARTICLE | Product R&D

Antibiotic wisdom

A new infection diagnostic could smarten antibiotic use

August 4, 2016 7:00 AM UTC

While one of the biggest problems in infectious diseases is the overuse of antibiotics, few point-of-care tools are available to help physicians decide when and what to prescribe. Focusing on host genes rather than microbial ones, a group at Stanford University has developed an assay based on an 18-gene signature that distinguishes viral from bacterial infections and doesn't depend on the species present.

"We are not trying to identify what bugs you have or if the bug is even present. We are simply saying from the host's response it looks like you have bacterial infection," said lead investigator Purvesh Khatri, who is an assistant professor of medicine at Stanford's School of Medicine. ...