Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Better tests needed to improve patient care, public health

Date:
November 7, 2013
Source:
Infectious Diseases Society of America
Summary:
Despite advances in diagnostic technology, there is an urgent need for tests that are easy to use, identify the bug causing an infection and provide results faster than current tests, according to a report.

Despite advances in diagnostic technology, there is an urgent need for tests that are easy to use, identify the bug causing an infection and provide results faster than current tests, according to a report from the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) published today in a special supplement to Clinical Infectious Diseases.

The report, "Better Tests, Better Care: Improved Diagnostics for Infectious Diseases," outlines specific recommendations to spur research and development of new diagnostics, and to encourage their use in patient care and public health. Better tests would help protect our dwindling supply of effective antibiotics by reducing their misuse, ensure that patients are receiving the best treatment for a variety of infectious diseases and improve the tracking of outbreaks.

"With the current state of diagnostic testing, we are handicapped, making decisions based on limited or nonspecific information -- in situations ranging from helping individual patients to identifying broader public health threats," said Angela M. Caliendo, MD, PhD, an infectious diseases physician, lead author of the paper and executive vice chairman of the Department of Medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, R.I. "It is critical that we not only invest in the development of new diagnostic tests, but that we also work to ensure these new tests are fully integrated into patient care."

Specifically, IDSA is calling for:

  • fiscal incentives and streamlined regulatory pathways to make it financially and logistically viable for companies to perform diagnostics research and development in areas of greatest unmet need,
  • improved clinical research infrastructure to accelerate diagnostics development -- for example providing critically needed specimens that researchers and companies can use to make sure their tests provide accurate results,
  • funding for outcomes research to demonstrate the clinical value of diagnostic tests, increasing the likelihood they will be used by doctors and hospitals, and
  • appropriate reimbursement, additional supporting infrastructure (such as information technology) and education for those who would utilize the diagnostics.

The Need for New Tests

Currently, some of the most important diagnostic tests available can take days or even weeks to return a result, a time frame that could be shortened to an hour in some cases, experts say.

"Delayed diagnosis puts us at an immediate disadvantage against infections," said Dr. Caliendo. "Not only is this detrimental for patients and their doctors, it also contributes to unnecessary healthcare costs through unneeded treatments, hospitalizations and isolation of patients."

For example, half of patients who see their doctors for acute upper respiratory infections receive antibiotics -- even though most of those infections are viral and do not benefit from such treatment. Currently, there is no test that can easily, accurately and inexpensively help physicians determine the cause of such an infection. Better, faster tests could guide doctors to the correct treatment more quickly and significantly reduce the number of patients receiving antibiotics erroneously, which contributes to antibiotic resistance. Such tests also would ensure patients are getting the best treatment for viral diseases -- including HIV, hepatitis C and the human papillomavirus (HPV) -- and quickly identify the cause of widespread problems such as community acquired pneumonia, which can be viral or bacterial.

Improved diagnostics would also help doctors and public health experts to quickly identify emerging infections, such as MERS coronavirus or new strains of influenza; assess the spread of already-prevalent diseases like malaria, measles and dengue; detect and track foodborne illnesses; and respond more effectively to outbreaks, pandemics and potential acts of bioterrorism.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Infectious Diseases Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. M. Caliendo, D. N. Gilbert, C. C. Ginocchio, K. E. Hanson, L. May, T. C. Quinn, F. C. Tenover, D. Alland, A. J. Blaschke, R. A. Bonomo, K. C. Carroll, M. J. Ferraro, L. R. Hirschhorn, W. P. Joseph, T. Karchmer, A. T. MacIntyre, L. B. Reller, A. F. Jackson. Better Tests, Better Care: Improved Diagnostics for Infectious Diseases. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2013; 57 (suppl 3): S139 DOI: 10.1093/cid/cit578

Cite This Page:

Infectious Diseases Society of America. "Better tests needed to improve patient care, public health." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131107094616.htm>.
Infectious Diseases Society of America. (2013, November 7). Better tests needed to improve patient care, public health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131107094616.htm
Infectious Diseases Society of America. "Better tests needed to improve patient care, public health." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131107094616.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins