Infectious disease diagnostic tool outperforms standard testing methods, study finds


Researchers validated a blood test for detecting infectious pathogens and found the test outperforms standard diagnostic methods, according to a study published in Nature Microbiology.

Life sciences company Karius developed the test based on sequencing of microbial cell-free DNA that can identify more than 1,000 clinically relevant bacteria, DNA viruses, fungi and parasites.

The researchers assessed the test's performance in 350 patients suspected of having sepsis, which can be caused by a wide range of pathogens cultures often miss.   

They found the test outperformed other microbiological tests in diagnosis conditions. The rate of pathogen identification was about three times higher than a blood culture test and 28 percent higher than all microbiological testing combined.   

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