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Gastrointestinal discomfort is universally uncomfortable and, in some cases, can be deadly. Anyone experiencing this, at any level, usually gets their daily lives affected or interrupted until the problem goes away. The process can be tedious, and the person involved will most likely have a bad case of diarrhea to clean their gastrointestinal tract before going back to normal.
In many cases, a person with gastrointestinal discomfort will not go to a medical clinic to get checked for an infection and even if they go, they’ll be given an antibiotic prescription without testing. This jumps the step where we discover what is causing the infection. Without proper pathogen detection, it is difficult to know what type of bacterial pathogens are circulating our premises.
Without proper GI testing, conditions that can be deadly in high-risk patients, like bacterial gastroenteritis, can pass undetected. Potentially affecting the host and others that can become infected.
The common bacteria
- Infection results in a mild to severe diarrheal illness, also referred to as acute gastroenteritis.
- Recent outbreak in spring 2022 in Europe caused by Salmonella Typhimurium sequence type (ST) 34 linked to chocolate.
- In 8% of the cases, patients may develop an invasive Salmonella infection which can be life-threatening and may present as:
- Bacteremia (blood infection)
- Meningitis (infection of membranes lining the brain and spinal cord)
- Osteomyelitis (bone infection)
- Septic arthritis (joint infection).
- Shigella spp. / Enteroinvasive Escherichia coli (EIEC)
- Diarrhea may present as soft or liquid stools containing mucus, pus and often blood.
- Humans are the only natural host.
- Transmitted from food, contaminated surfaces, consuming contaminated water, and contact with feces during sexual contact with someone who recently had diarrhea.
- Causes campylobacteriosis, which is the most frequently reported foodborne illness in the EU and the most common bacterial cause of diarrheal illness in the US.
- Transmitted directly or indirectly from animal to humans with most infections occurring due to consummation of contaminated undercooked poultry, water or unpasteurized raw milk, other foods or through contact with infected animals.
With PCR testing technology now a norm in respiratory testing, Thermo Fisher Scientific took the step to allow labs to add to their molecular testing menu, even outside of respiratory testing. That is because PCR (Polymerase chain reaction) technology enables laboratories to look for even the smallest traces of an infection. We now have the opportunity to evolve from the traditional culture tests, which have limitations including time-to-results, and enter the molecular field in gastrointestinal testing.
As the technological migration from culture to molecular testing continues, the need for expanded molecular testing remains beneficial for at-risk populations, including children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems. These populations are often at higher risk of severe disease and hospitalization and need clear answers. PCR testing delivers accurate results and aids in differential diagnosis, including coinfections, to assist with treatment or other patient management decisions.
The molecular solution
The Applied Biosystems™ TaqPath™ Enteric Bacterial Select Panel is a highly sensitive testing solution for detecting and differentiating three common gastrointestinal (GI) bacteria: Salmonella spp.; Shigella spp./enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC)*; and Campylobacter jejuni, Campylobacter. coli, and Campylobacter. upsaliensis.** Offering high sensitivity and fast time-to-results, this powerful PCR panel makes it easy and affordable for you to adopt a molecular diagnostic CE-IVD kit for gastrointestinal testing.
Get your lab up to speed by moving away from culture testing and join the gastrointestinal molecular testing movement.
Request more information here.
* Shigella spp./EIEC are undifferentiated.
** C. jejuni, C. coli, C. upsaliensis are undifferentiated.