We live in interesting times. New technologies allow for laboratory identification of microbial species that were previously unavailable or unidentifiable. With the advent of newer technologies, where does that leave the old, reliable laboratory standards?
Right on center stage, where they belong. Current DNA technologies, using validated platforms (now used for rapid identification in major medical institutions) may identify known pathogens but cannot provide information about antibiotic sensitivities. a gene present in the microbiome is not necessarily actively expressed. Nor do advances in microbial identification provide information about a patient’s digestive status, immune status, tissue inflammation, etc. Many types of information are required to properly assess a symptomatic patient, and pathogen detection is only one piece of a much larger puzzle.
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