A new blood test can help doctors tease out whether an infection is caused by a virus or bacteria within two hours, research in Plos One suggests.
It could stop patients being given antibiotics when they are not needed, scientists say.
It is still at a laboratory stage but the team is working on a portable device too.
The team of scientists from several medical centres in Israel, in collaboration with the company MeMed, developed the new test.
Analysing blood samples of more than 300 patients who were suspected of having an infection, they found it could correctly detect a virus or a bacterial infection in the majority of cases.
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