Newer Diagnostic Tests Can Help Cut Hospital Infections
Hospitals are "increasingly deploying a new breed" of diagnostic tests to detect antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the Wall Street Journal reports.
According to the Journal, the new tests, which take "hours, not days," to complete, can identify bacteria and determine whether they are "resistant to one antibiotic or vulnerable to another" by "using genetic information rather than growing them in a dish and examining them under the microscope."
The new tests cost more than current tests and require hospitals to invest in expensive diagnostic equipment, but health insurers often cover them when they have FDA approval. In addition, the new tests "will go a long way in combating two of the biggest public health concerns to emerge in recent years: the rapid spread of disease among increasingly mobile populations, and the evolution of 'superbugs' resistant to existing medications," the Journal reports (Wang, Wall Street Journal, 2/5).