Division of Infectious Diseases

Evaluating Next-Generation Melioidosis Diagnostics

In addition to being one of our ID physicians, Dr. James Lawler serves as the Director or International Programs and Innovation at the Global Center for Health Security, a center that will focus on training federal personnel to manage highly infectious diseases, and Director of Clinical and Biodefense Research at the National Strategic Research Institute.  His interest in global health extends to his research, and we’re excited to feature his recently published an article in Clinical Infectious Diseases titled, “Next Generation Diagnostics for Melioidosis: Evaluation of a Prototype i-STAT Cartridge to Detect Burkholderia pseudomallei Biomarkers.”

Dr. Lawler summarizes the article and its findings:

Melioidosis is the most common cause of community acquired pneumonia and sepsis in many areas of South East Asia and Northern Australia. It is a significant cause of mortality and highlights the challenges of managing drug resistant infections in resource-limited regions, where more expensive broad-spectrum antibiotic therapy is prohibitively expensive for widespread use. Melioidosis is also a threat for US service members deploying to endemic regions.

A new sensitive, rapid, and affordable diagnostic test could dramatically improve our ability to deliver directed therapy for melioidosis. We think the proof of concept study with the iSTAT-based assay shows that such a test is possible. It also makes the case for a platform to support rapid fielding of point-of-care diagnostic assays for multiple pathogens, which could be a major leap forward in managing emerging infectious diseases.

You can read more about this work here.


 

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