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New meningitis test could soon be available to private medical cover holders

Published on 19/08/2010
Those with private medical cover may soon be able to access a new meningitis test that can diagnose the disease within an hour.

Researchers based in Belfast and funded by the Meningitis Research Foundation developed the test, called loop mediated isothermal amplification, which detects the genetic makeup that is common to all strains of meningococcal bacteria.

Using current methods, it can take between 24 and 48 hours to diagnose meningitis as the disease is very similar to other infections in the early stages.

But the new test can achieve much faster results and so could save lives, particularly in cases involving young children, say the researchers.

Professor Mike Shields, of Queen's and the Belfast Trust, commented: "The current tests are expensive and take up to two days to obtain.

"Speedy identification of the cause of infection can enable doctors to make life-saving decisions about the treatment of patients. If we have the results within an hour we will be able to start the appropriate course of treatment right away."

It is estimated there are 3,300 cases of bacterial meningitis and septicaemia (the blood poisoning form of the disease) every year in the UK and Republic of Ireland.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

Categories:  Medical
New meningitis test could soon be available to private medical cover holdersThose with private medical cover may soon be able to access a new meningitis test that can diagnose the disease within an hour.Researchers b    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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