What was old is new again: Using the host response to diagnose infectious disease

Emily R. Ko, William E. Yang, Micah T. McClain, Christopher W. Woods, Geoffrey S. Ginsburg, Ephraim L. Tsalik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


A century of advances in infectious disease diagnosis and treatment changed the face of medicine. However, challenges continue to develop including multi-drug resistance, globalization that increases pandemic risks and high mortality from severe infections. These challenges can be mitigated through improved diagnostics, focusing on both pathogen discovery and the host response. Here, we review how omics technologies improve sepsis diagnosis, early pathogen identification and personalize therapy. Such host response diagnostics are possible due to the confluence of advanced laboratory techniques (e.g., transcriptomics, metabolomics, proteomics) along with advanced mathematical modeling such as machine learning techniques. The road ahead is promising, but obstacles remain before the impact of such advanced diagnostic modalities is felt at the bedside.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1143-1158
Number of pages16
JournalExpert Review of Molecular Diagnostics
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • communicable diseases
  • early diagnosis
  • host-pathogen interactions
  • metabolome
  • molecular diagnostics
  • proteome
  • respiratory tract infection
  • sepsis
  • transcriptome
  • tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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