New White Paper: Molecular Testing for Gastroenteritis

October 26th, 2018 / Christine Valle

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New White Paper: Molecular Testing for Gastroenteritis

If gastroenteritis testing falls under your purview, don’t miss this new white paper about how molecular testing is changing the landscape of how patients are diagnosed and treated. The paper, “Molecular Tests Provide a Better Alternative to Stool Culture for GI Cases,” is an educational resource developed by Luminex to help laboratorians determine whether molecular diagnostics would be a good fit in their facilities.

The white paper covers new clinical guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) about infectious diarrhea and Clostridium difficile, trends in testing for diarrheal diseases, and case reports from clinical labs that have evaluated molecular assays.

An Attractive Alternative to Stool Culture

There are many reasons molecular tests provide an attractive alternative to stool culture for gastroenteritis cases. As the white paper reports, “These tests streamline the diagnostic process, covering a number of likely pathogens in a single assay with excellent sensitivity and specificity. Results are generated much faster than traditional culture techniques, allowing clinicians to get patients on the right treatment — or off the wrong treatment — in hours rather than days. The best molecular tests make it possible to choose from targeted or syndromic testing, or even to create custom subpanels as needed.” The choice of targeted or syndromic testing is important for complying with IDSA guidelines, which typically recommend targeted tests for healthier patients and broad syndromic panels for immunocompromised patients.

Lab Results Reported

For a better sense of how this plays out in the clinical lab, the white paper includes several results reported by lab directors who have evaluated and implemented molecular tests for gastroenteritis. In one example, Daniel Rhoads from University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center explained that his lab no longer routinely performs stool cultures now that his team has implemented the VERIGENE® System and its rapid-result VERIGENE Enteric Pathogens Test. Other lab directors whose results are included in this paper reported that molecular testing dramatically reduced turnaround time for reporting results, lowered lab costs, and offered much-needed flexibility.

As the white paper concludes, “Clinical labs looking to make the switch must consider many factors, such as compliance with the IDSA and other guidelines, the flexibility of testing, whether and when to include C. diff detection, and cost-effectiveness. A test platform that allows users to create custom subpanels and choose which organisms to include offers the greatest flexibility for meeting the needs of each lab’s patient population and for adhering to evolving clinical practice guidelines, now and in the future.”

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