Monday, 19 June 2017 11:54

Point-of-Care Diagnostics via Molecular Tests

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Point-of-care testing is a growing trend in diagnostics. This generalized term encompasses tests that are portable and provide rapid results. Molecular tests that investigate the genetic material of an infectious agent are one of the fastest-growing point-of-care test types. Because many molecular tests are portable, fast, fairly simple to use, and inexpensive, they are being adopted for use in and away from the hospital setting. 

Several recent Journal of Clinical Microbiology articles summarize the current state of molecular diagnostics as a point-of-care (POC) testing option. Kozel and Burnham-Marusich provide a history of POC testing. Their timeline covers the immunoassays that initiated POC testing trends and the current expansion of molecular methods. Patel and Karon compare POC molecular technologies for infectious disease to one of the earliest POC tests, the home pregnancy test. They also present the pros and cons of these assays, including the inability of many molecular tests to interrogate unknown or uncharacterized pathogens.

ASM is hosting a new molecular diagnostics webinar series that began last week and will run for several months. A portion of the webinars will be presented in partnership with the Infectious Disease Society of America. Each of the eight live webinars will feature experts in the field discussing applications of the latest molecular technologies, with webinar-enhancing activities included before or afterward. In addition to diagnosis of specific infections, molecular applications for syndromic diagnoses and for determination of antibiotic resistance will be addressed.

The first webinar has passed, but there is plenty of time to sign up for the remaining live standalone presentations, including the next one, "Diagnosis of Gastrointestinal Infections." Recordings of the webinars will be available for one year. Participation in the webinar series is a great opportunity to stay abreast of the latest molecular technologies as well as to earn continuing education credit.

Molecular Diagnostics: Application for the Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases

A recent report from the American Academy of Microbiology highlights new near-patient and point-of-care testing for infectious disease. Be sure to check out the report, Changing Diagnostic Paradigms for Microbiology, from the American Academy of Microbiology!

Last modified on Tuesday, 20 June 2017 10:10