A Method to Distinguish Organisms Causing Exacerbations of Chronic Bronchitis
The invention provides a simple, quick and inexpensive test for discriminating between bacterial and non-bacterial exacerbations of chronic lung disease. The test is based on the strong correlation between bacterial AECB (acute exacerbations of chro nic bronchitis) and sputum elastase. The test comprises obtaining a sputum sample from a patient such that it contains secretions of the lower respiratory tract and testing it for the presence of elastase. In addition, for some pathogens a correlat ion is also observed between AECB and sputum IL-8 and TNF-??levels. Therefore in another embodiment the invention would test these levels as well. The invention distinguishes bacterial from non-bacterial AECB with a sensitivity of 73.3%, specificit y of 92.3%, positive predictive value of 95.6% and a negative predictive value of 60%. The measurements are converted to a semi-quantitative diagnostic test to determine etiology of an AECB and to make decisions regarding antibiotic treatment. The invention saves healthcare costs on unnecessary antibiotic regiments as well as reduces the likelihood of over prescribing of antibiotics leading to antibiotic resistance.
Categories: Healthcare, Diagnostic Patents Issues: 6,740,499
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