Capital Digestive Care recently implemented a new diagnostic panel for the diagnosis of diarrhea due to food-borne illness and for evaluation of abdominal pain. This advanced technology involves the detection of DNA fingerprints, similar to the technology seen on CSI and other forensic TV shows, and is a game-changer in this area of medicine.
Identifying the correct pathogen quickly can ensure appropriate treatment and proper management of the cause of diarrhea. It also allows the medical community to detect outbreaks in the early stages and to implement appropriate responses and resources for community health.
Pathogen detection by this technology was approved by the FDA in 2014 to test stool specimens for common pathogens such as E. Coli, salmonella, norovirus, rotavirus, and parasites. The potential of this technology in the treatment and diagnosis of acute diarrhea is recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and is included in the results of the rapid testing technology in its reporting. Prior to this technology, the CDC only counted results from traditional lab tests.
The panel detects 22 gastrointestinal pathogens in approximately one hour and uses a single container. Traditional evaluation of these pathogens required days to weeks and submission of multiple stool samples.
“Our experience with this test is outstanding. We have a 30% positive rate for the detection of potential GI pathogens as a cause of diarrhea. This positive detection rate is head-and- shoulders above traditional methods,” says Dr. Jeffrey Baybick, Medical Director of Capital Digestive Care’s pathology laboratory.
Patients can see a gastroenterologist for diagnosis and treatment at any of Capital Digestive Care’s 15 office locations where the GI diagnostic panel test kit can be dispensed for the patient to complete at home and mail to the laboratory for testing.