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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Apr 17;109(16):6217-22. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1119540109. Epub 2012 Apr 2.

RNA signatures allow rapid identification of pathogens and antibiotic susceptibilities.

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1
The Broad Institute, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA.

Abstract

With rising rates of drug-resistant infections, there is a need for diagnostic methods that rapidly can detect the presence of pathogens and reveal their susceptibility to antibiotics. Here we propose an approach to diagnosing the presence and drug-susceptibility of infectious diseases based on direct detection of RNA from clinical samples. We demonstrate that species-specific RNA signatures can be used to identify a broad spectrum of infectious agents, including bacteria, viruses, yeast, and parasites. Moreover, we show that the behavior of a small set of bacterial transcripts after a brief antibiotic pulse can rapidly differentiate drug-susceptible and -resistant organisms and that these measurements can be made directly from clinical materials. Thus, transcriptional signatures could form the basis of a uniform diagnostic platform applicable across a broad range of infectious agents.

PMID:
22474362
PMCID:
PMC3341018
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1119540109
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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