Clinical Benefits

Syndromically grouped real-time PCR

Fast Track Diagnostics produce syndromically grouped real-time PCR multiplex kits that serve the clinical need. A clinical examination alone cannot easily distinguish between viral, bacterial or other infections, whereas PCR can!

Imagine a typical scenario where an individual feels unwell and seeks a Doctor for a diagnosis. If the Doctor is concerned about the patient’s symptoms and their wellbeing, then further investigation is necessary. In this case, a sample is taken and a test is often ordered from the lab based on what the Doctor expects to be the most likely pathogenic cause of the illness. If the test comes back negative, a second test must be ordered, and so on until a positive result is found.

This cycle of repeat testing is bad for the patient, frustrating, wasting time, reagents and money, and moreover the patient remains untreated waiting for a diagnosis – possibly becoming sicker. Worse yet, the patient may be prescribed unnecessary medication before the test results are confirmed, such as antibiotics for a viral illness.

Imagine the same scenario, but the Doctor is able to order a test from the lab which covers all probable pathogenic causes - virus, bacteria, fungi or parasite - at the same time, in one run... this is syndromic real-time PCR multiplex testing. It saves time, resources, reagents and money. Most importantly, however, it is better for the patient as a fast clinical diagnosis reduces morbidity and the risk of mortality, particularly in high risk immunocompromised hospital cases like transplant patients, or the young and elderly.


The severity of viruses, viral load and antibiotic resistance

Data shows that the pathogenic load is often related to the severity of the illness, e.g. pneumonia. Where an understanding of the viral load or level of infection is critical, we also offer quantitative tests. The quantification is possible using either quantification standards supplied with the kit or a cycler specific formula.

Another benefit of rapid diagnosis with Fast Track Diagnostics kits is that it can help avoid the development of antibiotic resistance by allowing pathogen specific treatment. As many as 75% of all antibiotic doses are prescribed for acute respiratory tract infections. Of these, most are caused by viruses, not bacteria.

Finally, viruses are often the cause of far more severe infections than is generally realised. For example:

  • Pneumonia in ITU is usually assumed to be due to bacteria but, in fact can be caused by many viruses such as rhinoviruses, flu, RSV and human metapneumovirus
  • 75% of all community gastroenteritis is caused by viruses
  • Neonatal sepsis can be caused by parechoviruses and adenoviruses
  • EBV and adenovirus are routine, but often unexpected, causes of post transplant sepsis