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Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Novel Host Immune Protein for Differentiating between Acute Bacterial and Viral Infection

Posted by Dr Prahallad Panda on 11:04 AM Comments

Can we doctors definitely say in the acute phase, whether an infectious disease is due to bacteria, virus or mixed? Is there any blood test to know it?
Answer will be no to a larger extent. Diagnosis, largely depends on the epidemiology; most of upper respiratory infections are due to viral infection. Such types of assumptions and uncertainties lead to misuse of antibiotics, antibiotic resistance and adverse effect due to antibiotic use; nontheless, the financial burden on the family.
Several bio-markers like CRP (C-Reactive Protein), procalcitonin and Interleukin-6 are used to support the diagnosis of bacterial infection. But, take the case of CRP, it is increased in cases of bacterial infection and non-infectious inflammatory diseases as well.
Recently, in a research article published in PLOS One, the researchers claim to have successfully tested for a novel Host Immune Protein that is mostly elevated in viral infection and least in bacterial infection.
In the PLOS One study, the ImmunoXpert immune signature was developed and independently validated on a cohort of 1002 patients with acute infections and yielded highly accurate results, with sensitivity and specificity greater than 90%. The best performing host-protein was TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) to diagnose viral infection.

MeMed, Ltd., announced publication of the results of this large multicenter prospective clinical study that validates the ability of its ImmunoXpertTM in-vitro diagnostic blood test, enrolling over 1000 patients between 2009 and 2013.
Reportedly, three host proteins are tested in ImmunoXpert kit; CRP, IP 10 and TRAIL; from swing of results, the most probable cause of infection i.e. bacterial or viral can be distinguished. TRAIL (member of the tumor necrosis factor family implicated in programmed cell death), IP-10 (IFN-gamma-inducible protein 10) small cytokine implicated in multiple cellular processes including chemotaxis and cell growth inhibition, and CRP (acute phase protein with diverse roles in tissue injury, infection and other inflammation processes).
This test will perhaps be a boon to mankind and handy to the doctors for near accurate diagnosis. 

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