Purpose of review: Gastroenteritis is caused by a wide range of viral, bacterial and parasitic pathogens and causes millions of deaths worldwide each year, particularly in infant populations in developing countries. Traditional microbiological culture and immunological based tests are time consuming, laborious and often lack diagnostic specificity and sensitivity. As a result patients can receive suboptimal and/or inappropriate antimicrobial treatment. In recent years, rapid nucleic acid diagnostics (NAD) technologies have become available to complement or even bypass and replace these traditional microbiological culture and immunological based tests. The main purpose of this review is to describe a number of recently available multiparametric commercial tests, to support the rapid and accurate clinical diagnosis of human gastroenteritis. These state of the art technologies have the ability to identify a wide range of microorganisms associated with enteric gastroenteritis. Following further technological innovation and more comprehensive clinical validation studies, these NAD tests have the potential to impact on the economic burden of health care systems. These rapid NAD tests can also be used to guide improved patient therapy in a timely manner which will reduce the extent of morbidity and mortality associated with these infections globally.
Reddington, K., Tuite, N., Minogue, E., & Barry, T. (2014). A current overview of commercially available nucleic acid diagnostics approaches to detect and identify human gastroenteritis pathogens. Biomolecular Detection and Quantification. Elsevier GmbH. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bdq.2014.07.001