New tests could hamper food outbreak detection

December 11, 2012 by Lauran Neergaard

It's about to get faster and easier to diagnose food poisoning. But there's a downside: It could make it harder to spot and solve dangerous outbreaks.

Next-generation tests that could reach medical labs as early as next year could shave a few days off the time needed to tell whether E. coli, salmonella or other caused an illness. That could allow doctors to treat diseases more quickly.

The problem is the new tests can't differentiate between bacteria subtypes. That fingerprint is what researchers use to identify the source of the .

Health officials that use the new could still send samples to a lab so that the older, slower test also could be performed. But it's not clear who would pay for that extra step.

Explore further: A long-sought test for direct detection of disease-causing E. coli bacteria

shares

Related Stories

Urinary tract infections linked to contaminated chicken

February 20, 2012

Urinary tract infections are common conditions that occur when bacteria from the intestines enter the urinary tract. New research, however, suggests that the bacteria causing these infections may come from contaminated food ...

Recommended for you

Immune breakthrough: Unscratching poison ivy's rash

August 23, 2016

We all know that a brush with poison ivy leaves us with an itchy painful rash. Now, Monash University and Harvard researchers have discovered the molecular cause of this irritation. The finding brings us a step closer to ...

Zika infection may affect adult brain cells

August 18, 2016

Concerns over the Zika virus have focused on pregnant women due to mounting evidence that it causes brain abnormalities in developing fetuses. However, new research in mice from scientists at The Rockefeller University and ...

Monkeys with Sudan ebolavirus treated successfully

August 22, 2016

Scientists funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have successfully treated monkeys several days after the animals were infected with Sudan ebolavirus (SUDV). The study is important, according to the researchers, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.