ABSTRACT: Outbreaks of central nervous system (CNS) diseases result in significant productivity and financial losses, threatening peace and wartime readiness capabilities. To meet this threat, rapid clinical diagnostic tools for detecting and identifying CNS pathogens are needed. Current tools and techniques cannot efficiently deal with CNS pathogen diversity; they cannot provide real-time identification of pathogen serogroups and strains, and they require days, sometimes weeks, for examination of tissue culture. Rapid and precise CNS pathogen diagnostics are needed to provide the opportunity for tailored therapeutic regimens and focused preventive efforts to decrease morbidity and mortality. Such diagnostics are available through genetic and genomic technologies, which have the potential for reducing the time required in serogroup or strain identification from 500+ hours for some viral cultures to less than 3 hours for all pathogens. In the near future, microarray diagnostics and future derivations of these technologies will change the paradigm used for outbreak investigations and will improve health care for all.
Military medicine 09/2004; 169(8):594-9. · 0.92 Impact Factor