A graphic concept image detailing the silhouette of a person's torso. The gastrointestinal system is highlighted.

Gastrointestinal infections are a common problem that can cause pain, discomfort, and even serious illness in patients. Unfortunately, the traditional methods of diagnosing these infections have been time-consuming, costly, and — at worst — inaccurate.

Thus, technological improvements are necessary in order to improve the clinical management of these diseases, as well as lower the costs associated with the diagnostic processes.

The Details of Gastrointestinal Diseases

Today, new molecular diagnostic technologies — like RT-PCR testing — are being developed and offer more effective ways to diagnose gastrointestinal infections quickly and accurately.

These technologies have the potential to revolutionize how we diagnose and treat gastrointestinal illnesses in both clinical settings and laboratories.

Specifically, by providing more precise and sensitive diagnoses, RT-PCR testing can help to identify the source of specific infections, leading to faster and more targeted treatment. Ultimately, this could result in improved patient outcomes as well as reduced costs for healthcare providers.

With its promising potential, it’s clear that this form of diagnostic testing will play a crucial role in improving our diagnostic capabilities for gastrointestinal infections.

A Gastrointestinal RT-PCR Panel Study Explained

Originally conducted in 2017, the Journal of Clinical Microbiology published “A Gastrointestinal PCR Panel Improves Clinical Management and Lowers Health Care Costs” in 2017.

This particular study was designed to determine the clinical impact of a Molecular Polymerase Chain Reaction (M-PCR) by comparing it to that of stool cultures, the likes of which have long been deemed the traditional method of detecting and identifying relevant pathogens.

In the aforementioned study, a total of 251 patients — all of whom originally submitted stool cultures — completed additional testing via the Molecular RT-PCR Gastrointestinal panel. Their results were then compared to a control group of patients (n = 594) who underwent only the stool culture.

The most common organisms found in the test were as follows:

  • Escherichia
  • Norovirus
  • Rotavirus
  • Sapovirus
  • Salmonella

Moreover, we can see the following results between the two test groups:

Gastrointestinal RT-PCR Panel Patients Stool Culture Patients (Control Group)
Other infectious stool tests 0.58 other infectious stool tests 3.02 other infectious stool tests
Days on antibiotics 1.73 days 2.12 days
Abdomen or pelvic imaging studies 0.18 abdomen or pelvic imaging studies 0.39 abdomen or pelvic imaging studies
Average length of time from stool culture collection to discharge 3.4 days 3.9 days

Ultimately, based on the above, the overall healthcare cost per patient would have decreased by $293.61 per patient if the clinicians had utilized molecular RT-PCR testing from intake.

NCF Diagnostics & DNA Technologies

It is clear from the aforementioned study that multiplex RT-PCR testing can offer dramatic improvements when it comes to identifying the potential harmful pathogens that are present in a patient’s gastrointestinal system.

With quicker turnaround times, clinicians may also prescribe the proper antibiotics quicker, consequently shortening the patient’s stay and decreasing the overall health costs associated with their care.

In short, the impact RT-PCR testing may have on the diagnostic and treatment processes cannot be overstated.

That’s why, here at NCF Diagnostics & Technologies, our reference lab team developed GastroPath™ to test a patient’s stool for a total of 30 targets using multiplex RT-PCR as the underlying molecular diagnostic technology!

It’s time to streamline the diagnosis and treatment process in an accurate, convenient, and cost-effective manner with GastroPath™.

Ready to learn more about the choice reference lab for revolutionary results? If so, get started today and contact NCF Diagnostics & DNA Technologies by calling (352) 375-5553!