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New molecular technology speeds up diagnoses

5 June 2018

The Microbiology laboratory, has recently introduced molecular technology to diagnose pathogens in stool specimens.

These new molecular screening tests will replace traditional culture based techniques which are time consuming and labour intensive. Culture testing involves taking a sample from a patient and then waiting for days for the organism to reproduce in the laboratory in order to be properly identified.

The new molecular tests are rapid, sensitive, and specific, with results available much more quickly – usually the same day.

Dr Tim Planche, Clinical Director, said: “We have invested in molecular diagnostics because it will have a dramatic impact on the speed, efficiency and accuracy within diagnostic medicine.

“We are an NHS organisation but we want to ensure we are at the forefront of new developments and making the most of new technology.

“Although acute diarrhoea is a very common infectious disease for most healthy people it will be self-limiting and only last a few days. However, in certain people it can cause severe dehydration, bacteraemia, chronic symptoms and in a few cases malnutrition and even death.

“Detecting pathogens in a faster timeframe will ensure clinicians can implement appropriate medication earlier and potentially save lives.”

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