BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A team of researchers developed a new meningitis test, one that can reportedly place a diagnosis in just an hour, or a fraction of the current testing time.
Currently used meningococcal disease can take even up to 48 hours to return a result. In some cases, this might be even fatally long.
This new method was presented as a potential way of saving lives and also of sparing children from getting unneeded treatment.
The New Meningitis Test is Known as LAMP
The newly developed and currently tested diagnosis method was called LAMP. This stands for Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification. It was initially assessed in a two years long study, in which it was used alongside standard NHS tests.
The research team behind it stated that the LAMP should be just as efficient as the standard test in returning an accurate diagnosis.
“The LAMP test enables doctors to efficiently diagnose meningococcal septicemia within an hour,” states Dr. James McKenna. He is a clinical scientist and the lead researcher in the development of the new meningitis test.
Dr. McKenna continued by saying that “The LAMP diagnosis could significantly reduce the number of patients taking medication unnecessarily as well as preventing needless anxiety to patients and their families.”
However, a new trial study is being conducted to test LAMP in a hospital environment. This is led by Dr. Tom Waterfield and is a collaboration between the Queen’s University and Paediatric Emergency Research UK and Ireland.
The clinical trial will be assessing the practicality of using this new test in the hospital environment. It will also help decide how useful this test really is in taking a decision and placing a diagnosis.
The limitations and potential barriers of the new meningitis test will also be analyzed during this trial run in a hospital.
LAMP might also spot cases that are less obvious and symptom-free, but which might point to their being a meningococcal infection.
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