Millions of new cases of sepsis worldwide occur every year, and they are normally the result of bacterial infections, and more than a quarter of cases have a fatal outcome, but a powerful new diagnostic system may now positively affect these numbers thanks to its technology that allows for the simultaneous testing of blood for the presence of all known bacterial infections.
The new platform is named BacCapSeq and was designed by researchers at Columbia University, which revealed that it has the potential to significantly accelerate the diagnosis of known lethal bacterial infections, making it possible to save thousands of lives annually.
So far, in order to be able to detect any form of septicemia, it was necessary to grow the bacteria in a culture, a process that took several days, but BacCapSeq, allows to get results in up to 70 hours, which may be slower than some of the current tests to detect bacterial infections, but this new test allows to the detection of all types, whereas the current tests only allow to detect a single bacteria at a time, in addition the scientists believe that the wait for results will diminish with the evolution of the computers.
The system makes use of 4.2 million molecules, called oligonucleotides that function as a test when coupled to DNA sequences of bacteria, not only detecting the bacteria but also anti-microbial gene signals.
Although the test is a good advance and will certainly help prevent the deaths resulting from this type of infection, the detection is qualitative rather than quantitative, meaning it detects the presence of the bacteria but is not able to determine the extent of the infection, and of course the detection of new types of bacteria is only possible if they have a pathogenic composition similar to those we already know.