The diagnosis of infectious diseases is based mainly on microbiological techniques. The cultivation of pathogens in the laboratory, however, is a time-consuming process and some pathogens cannot be cultivated at all or only under special conditions.
For this reason, we develops innovative molecular methods for pathogen diagnostics based on molecular analyses of the genetic information of pathogens. The new technology avoids time-consuming cultivation procedures and makes possible the detection of all pathogens: viruses, parasites and bacteria that do not grow on the culture media used. This not only makes the diagnosis faster, but also significantly more reliable.
The Functional Genomics group at Fraunhofer IGB has extensive experience in the indications of sepsis, endocarditis, amniotic fluid infections, as well as in biomarker screening, the genome characterization of pathogens and microbial studies (e.g. on the skin).
A recent clinical study in collaboration with the University Hospital Heidelberg has shown that significantly more sepsis pathogens were identified in a more reliable manner with this new sequencing technology compared to blood cultures, and that these results would have had a direct effect on the treatment and survival rate of the patients.