Curbing the Threat of Infectious Diseases

Identify Pathogens and Study the Host Immune Response

The threat of infectious disease continues to grow globally, creating an urgent need for fast and accurate pathogen identification methods to determine the correct course of treatment. Infectious disease research plays an important role in developing vaccines and other treatments to reduce the devastating effects of serious illnesses and infections caused by HIV, Ebola virus, Zika virus, and Influenza virus, or even the common cold. Research on host responses to bacterial or fungal infections may also aid in the development of new treatments for antibiotic resistant strains that are reemerging as a public health threat.

Current infectious disease research efforts are aimed at understanding how pathogens function and how hosts respond, but these efforts can be complicated due to multiple variables such as sample availability, pathogen load, and time to identification. Further complicating measurement, when specimens are available, pathogens may constitute a small fraction of the material, and readings must be made quickly to inform treatment decisions. These measurements are crucial because by tracking the immune response to bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites, investigators can gain insight into potential therapeutic pathways. For accurate pathogen identification, particularly, there is a need for technologies that accurately assess the host immune response while tracking transcriptional profiles in vivo, where gene expression may differ significantly from patterns observed in vitro.

New direct hybridization-based digital counting technologies allow for a multiplex approach to profile both pathogen and host-specific responses simultaneously, ushering in new capability in infectious disease research at the basic, translational, and diagnostic levels. Scientists around the world are using this technology to expand their capabilities within infectious disease research. Some examples include the ability to understand the inflammatory response to West Nile Virus, identifying key changes in T-cell function during Tuberculosis infection, and rapid identification of antibiotic resistance, among others.


Multiplexed Infectious Disease Analysis

In this whitepaper "Multiplexed Infectious Disease Analysis," you can learn how NanoString’s nCounter® platform provides a simple workflow to enable rapid, precise, and cost-effective infectious disease research and diagnosis.

For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.