Researchers Identify Biomarkers That Accurately Detects Viral Infection Prior Development of Symptoms?

Jan, 2021 - By SMI

Researchers Identify Biomarkers That Accurately Detects Viral Infection Prior Development of Symptoms?

According to a new research study led by the researchers of Duke University Medical Center have reported to identify biomarkers that has the potential to precisely detect several viral infections across the clinical stages of disease indicating that these biomarkers can be utilized as a potential new way to monitor treatment. Researchers reported that the blood-based test uses a unique gene expression assay that exactly detect 9 different respiratory viral infections, which include adenovirus and coronaviruses, influenza, enterovirus which are responsible for causing common colds.

Micah McClain, lead author stated, “While our study was conducted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, our data show that these biomarkers of viral infection are present and detectable before clinical disease develops and thus could form the basis of novel approaches to early identification and management of emerging viral outbreaks and pandemics”.

In this study, researchers registered 1,465 college students and these students were monitored by the researchers for entire academic year for the presence and severity of eight symptoms of respiratory tract infections. The enrolled participants were instructed to fill out daily web-based survey, and rated symptoms on a scale of 0-4. Furthermore, researchers collected biospecimens from 264 index cases with clinical illness, of whom 150 had a respiratory viral illness that was confirmed by testing of nasopharyngeal samples using traditional PCR.

Researchers also monitored close contacts of the sick study participants, expected to be at higher risk of developing symptoms and measured gene expression responses utilizing blood-based 36-gene RT-PCR assay. Researchers observed that gene expression test accurately anticipated viral infection up to three days before maximum symptoms, where the blood-based test for predicting influenza was accurate by 99% in predicting, 95% accurate for adenovirus, and 93% accurate for the coronavirus strain.

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