CDC Finds that Diagnostic Tests Challenge Foodborne Illness Tracking

In the April 15, 2016 issue of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the report states that diagnostic tests used to identify foodborne illnesses faster could soon pose challenges to finding outbreaks and monitoring progress toward preventing foodborne disease. Culture-independent diagnostic tests (CIDTs) help doctors diagnose infections quicker than traditional culture methods, which require growing bacteria to determine what is causing illness. However, without a bacterial culture, public health officials cannot get the detailed information about the bacteria needed to help find outbreaks, check for antibiotic resistance, and track foodborne disease trends. In 2015, the percentage of foodborne infections diagnosed only by CIDT was about double compared with the percentage in 2012-2014. Learn more, here.

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