New pathogen tests put focus on speed
With serious infections, a quick ID can be critical
Start-up companies and local laboratories are developing new approaches to efficiently and rapidly identify bacteria, virus or fungus in a patient sample. Initial efforts are focused on the health care setting where a doctor needs to know how to best treat a patient’s symptoms, but currently depend on tests that take days instead of hours to answer basic questions about what is causing an infection. Other potential uses of such technology include monitoring the safety of the food supply and the environment.