A biotechnology company has said its bacteria test sets a world record because it can detect 50 dangerous types at once, including the superbug MRSA.
Mobidiag said the Prove-it(TM) Bacteria test would be especially useful in battling the potentially-fatal sepsis.
The blood infection is responsible for growing numbers of deaths across the world. There are about 3 million cases a year, with over 500,000 deaths.
Sepsis treatment is reliant on starting treatment with the right antibiotics before the infection gets too serious.
Current tests using blood cultures can diagnose which pathogens are causing the disease in between two and five days, after which the correct antibiotic can be chosen.
Mobidiag said its new test can identify bacteria between one and three days earlier than current techniques.
The Prove-it(TM) Bacteria test uses polymerase chain reaction and microarray techniques to give results in less than three hours, the Finnish firm said.
The time saved would mean the right antibiotics can be given to patients earlier, giving them a better chance of survival.
Jaakko Pellosniemi, CEO of Mobidiag, said: "The test helps clinicians make better and faster decisions and provide sufficient treatment for seriously ill patients. I strongly believe that Prove-it(TM) products will rapidly gain foothold on the multi-billion microbial diagnostic markets."
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