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Diagnostics Respiratory

New Test To Diagnose Respiratory Viral Illnesses

4 months, 1 week ago

1174  0
Posted on Feb 10, 2018, 11 a.m.

Researchers at Yale have conducted a study to devise a new test that measures RNA or protein molecules in human cells that can accurately identify viral infections as a cause of respiratory symptoms that is performed with a nasal swab.

 

Upper respiratory illness are very common. But there isn’t a method to rapidly perform a diagnostic test to confirm more than a few of the viruses as the cause. The researchers first tested human nasal cells using genetic sequencing techniques to screen the cells for the levels of RNAs and proteins that increase when a virus is present, to identify the biomarkers of the viral infections applicable to a variety of different respiratory viruses.

 

Researchers at Yale have conducted a study to devise a new test that measures RNA or protein molecules in human cells that can accurately identify viral infections as a cause of respiratory symptoms that is performed with a nasal swab.

 

Upper respiratory illness are very common. But there isn’t a method to rapidly perform a diagnostic test to confirm more than a few of the viruses as the cause. The researchers first tested human nasal cells using genetic sequencing techniques to screen the cells for the levels of RNAs and proteins that increase when a virus is present, to identify the biomarkers of the viral infections applicable to a variety of different respiratory viruses.

 

The team were able to identify 3 RNAs and 2 proteins that are activated or “turned on” by a virus. It was then investigated whether measuring the levels of the proteins or the expression of the genes could predict the presence of a viral infection. It was found that the proteins and RNAs were both accurate as predictors of respiratory viral infections, which was then confirmed by the subsequent testing for common viruses with accuracy of 97% which also picked up viruses that were not identified by many current lab tests.

 

The researchers are working to develop the method into a rapid gene or protein test that could be conducted in doctors offices, enabling the diagnosis to be done more quickly, cheaper, and accurately than with the more time consuming and expensive testing in the current routine evaluation. This method would be a great asset in evaluating young children and very sick patients, and may possibly help reduce the misuse of antibiotics to treat viral infections. The end goal of the researchers is to create a gene or protein based test to be available for the general use within the timeframe of one to five years.

 

 

Sources include:

Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

https://news.yale.edu/2017/12/21/new-test-shows-when-body-fighting-virus

 

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