Infections and sepsis represent a growing global burden. There is a widespread clinical need for a rapid, high-throughput and sensitive technique for the diagnosis of infections and detection of invading pathogens and the presence of sepsis. Current diagnostic methods primarily consist of laboratory-based haematology, biochemistry and microbiology that are time consuming, labour- and resource-intensive, and prone to both false positive and false negative results. Current methods are insufficient for the increasing demands on healthcare systems, causing delays in diagnosis and initiation of treatment, due to the intrinsic time delay in sample preparation, measurement, and analysis. Vibrational spectroscopic techniques can overcome these limitations by providing a rapid, label-free and low-cost method for blood analysis, with limited sample preparation required, potentially revolutionising clinical diagnostics by producing actionable results that enable early diagnosis, leading to improved patient outcomes. This review will discuss the challenges associated with the diagnosis of infections and sepsis, primarily within the UK healthcare system. We will consider the clinical potential of spectroscopic point-of-care technologies to enable blood analysis in the primary-care setting.
- vibrational spectroscopy
- rapid diagnostic test