Recently, the New York Times published an article about a study that appeared in Science. In the study, researchers developed a test called VirScan that detects antibodies to hundreds of species of viruses that infect humans. The research applications are broad (epidemiology studies, determining the best times to vaccinate children, disease etiology), but what about the diagnostic value of this sort of test? For starters, it could streamline tests for immune response to vaccinations (hepatitis B and measles, for example). It could also become a routine test in a “personalized medicine” setting.
What do you think? How do you see clinical laboratories using this technology?
–Kelly Swails, MT(ASCP), is a laboratory professional, recovering microbiologist, and web editor for Lab Medicine.