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Bloodstream Infections and a promising new weapon against them

This HND piece examines the problem of bloodstream infections—especially those affecting pediatric leukemia patients. Generally regarded as the most dangerous type of healthcare-associated infection, bloodstream infections are far too common, and have a disturbingly high fatality rate.

Pediatric leukemia patients, already immunocompromised by virtue of chemotherapy and their youth in many cases, are unfortunately prone to serious bloodstream infections. If only these could be diagnosed earlier.

We report on a pilot study that shows the efficacy of a new diagnostic approach, using next-generation DNA sequencing. The test can identify the DNA of more than 1000 pathogens, long before their infections would become symptomatic. Prophylactic antibiotics can then be administered, and this can save lives. Great stuff.

Read the complete article.

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