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Cambridge University researchers develop DNA test for secondary nosocomial infections of COVID-19

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Researchers at the University of Cambridge are conducting DNA tests to help identify dangerous secondary infections that may occur during COVID-19 treatment, such as cases of ventilator-related pneumonia provided during intensive care. Developed.

Patients on a ventilator are usually given anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve damage to the lungs, which can make them more susceptible to bacteria and fungi in the hospital. ..

Developed in collaboration with the British Public Health Service at the University of Cambridge Hospital, this test is designed to help identify infections and suggest the proper course of antibiotics.

This approach is much faster than culturing bacterial samples in the lab and is promised to take a total of about 4 hours to detect 52 pathogens and is currently medical under the university’s NHS Foundation Trust. Deployed to providers.

“Early in the pandemic, we realized that patients with COVID-19 were at particular risk of developing secondary pneumonia and began using the rapid diagnostic tests we developed for that very situation.” Said Co-authored by Andrew Conway Morris of Cambridge School of Medicine paper Investigate the incidence of mechanical ventilation-related pneumonia in COVID-19 patients.

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“Using this test, we found that patients with COVID-19 were twice as likely to develop secondary pneumonia as other patients in the same intensive care unit,” Morris said. .. The reason is that people with severe infections tend to spend more time on ventilators, and the immune system may be under- or over-regulated in the face of the virus.

It is also the first time that high-throughput PCR sequencing has been adopted in this way in routine university clinical practice.

“Patients with COVID-19 are more likely to develop secondary pneumonia, but the bacteria that caused these infections were found to be similar to those in ICU patients without COVID-19,” Cambridge’s study. Said the lead research author, Myris Mace. “This means that standard antibiotic protocols can be applied to COVID-19 patients.”

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