New Diagnostics & Their Impact on Unmet Clinical Needs for Treating Infectious Diseases

Advancements in diagnostics will continue to improve the way patients are treated after getting infected by a disease. Finding an alternative to the existing yet less-efficient diagnostic methods is one way of approach towards enhanced treatment of infectious diseases. There’s also a way where medical practitioners deduce the crucial drawbacks of prominent diagnostic procedures and collect a data regarding the uncharted diagnostic fields that lag clinical expertise. Manufacturers and scientific developers of diagnostic equipment can assess such data, develop advanced devices as per the need, and test them in some demanding clinical areas before introducing them into the global market.

Impact on Testing Methods

Testing for infectious diseases is majorly lab-based, but the recent point-of-care (POC) testing methods have decentralised the conventional ways of testing for pathogens. While FDA has approved rapid antigen tests for a select few pathogens, POC tests are being replaced with commercial methods that function on detection assays and real-time amplification for other pathogens. Similarly, molecular diagnostics used in single-analyte testing are being reformed with syndromic screening approach for detecting every pathogenic element present in the patient. As a result, POC tests at early stages of diagnosis will appropriate antimicrobial therapies to an advanced extent.

Amplification-based technologies used to amplify the genetic target are being replaced by automated cartridge-based devices. These technologies are now evolved to loop-mediated amplification, sequence-based amplification and strand-displacement application, which can be extensive used in clinics as they do not require costly thermocyclers.

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Evolution of Sequencing

The conventional method for analysis of infectious diseases involved a combination of capillary electrophoresis sequencing and other pyrosequencing applications. After the clinical introduction of next-generation sequencing or NGS, sequencing methods performed better, and used extensive bioinformatics for data elucidation. However, without systematic incorporation of genotypic comparisons and gene expression analysis, NSGs will be void of generic elements that supplement phenotypic resistance mechanisms.

Effect on Proteomics & Biosensors

Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) is one of the latest development in infectious disease diagnostics, and has diverse applicability in biochemistry, polymer chemistry, and proteomics. Once rapid susceptibility testing is coupled with MALDI-TOF MS, it will bring efficiency in detection of antibiotic resistance mechanisms. For successful use of POC biosensor diagnostic devices, microfluids are being combined with isothermal amplification technologies. Preliminary clinical trials demonstrated how electrochemical biosensor array integrated with nucleic acid and protein detection can serve the purpose of identifying polymicrobial as well as monomicrobial urinary tract infections.

Reformation of Clinical Data Analysis

Information gathered from sequencing, biosensor analysis, mass spectrometry and other tests will put forth of challenge during interpretation of such data. Clinical data analysis might face challenge as the data received from whole-genome sequencing won’t be consistent with the data derived from older technologies. For every clinician to understand the laboratory information without ambiguity, there is a rise in installation of data management systems that can relate any genotypic data to phenotypic data with help of complex analysis algorithms.


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