Journal Articles

What was old is new again: using the host response to diagnose infectious disease

July 04, 2015

What was old is new again: using the host response to diagnose infectious diseaseExpert Rev Mol Diagn. 2015 Jul 4, Ko ER1, Yang WE, McClain MT, Woods CW, Ginsburg GS, Tsalik EL.

  • 1Department of Medicine Center for Applied Genomics & Precision Medicine, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA.

Abstract

A century of advances in infectious disease diagnosis and treatment changed the face of medicine. However, challenges continue to develop including multi-drug resistance, globalization that increases pandemic risks and high mortality from severe infections. These challenges can be mitigated through improved diagnostics, focusing on both pathogen discovery and the host response. Here, we review how ‘omics’ technologies improve sepsis diagnosis, early pathogen identification and personalize therapy. Such host response diagnostics are possible due to the confluence of advanced laboratory techniques (e.g., transcriptomics, metabolomics, proteomics) along with advanced mathematical modeling such as machine learning techniques. The road ahead is promising, but obstacles remain before the impact of such advanced diagnostic modalities is felt at the bedside.

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