A Novel Diagnostic Test for Bacterial vs Viral Respiratory Infections

A diagnostic method for bacterial lower respiratory tract infections.

Problem Solved by this Technology

Lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) are among the most common infectious disease and leading causes of hospitalization and mortality worldwide. Encompassing a spectrum of diseases including acute bronchitis, influenza, and pneumonia, LTRIs are often caused by viral and/or bacterial infections. However, due to lack of reliable clinical features, it’s very difficult to determine with accuracy the cause of infection without extensive diagnostic tests. In consequence, the lack of accurate diagnosis has resulted the overuse of antibiotics and subsequent increases of antibiotic resistance. This invention aims to identify a novel diagnostic method to distinguish bacterial from nonbacterial LTRIs.


This technology takes advantage of gene expression profiling to identify specific transcription patterns that differentiates bacterial and viral infection. By performing RNAseq and quantitative PCR on peripheral whole blood samples from 213 hospitalized subjects, researchers at the University of Rochester discovered an 11-gene set with high predicative accuracy for bacterial LRTI regardless of viral co-infection. Therefore, these 11 genes can be used as molecular predictors to effectively diagnose, differentiate, or treat a subject with bacterial LRTIs and thus limit the development of bacterial resistance.

Technology Status

Proof of concept has been validated in human samples.

URV Reference Number: 6-16100
Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Matan Rapoport
Licensing Associate
University of Rochester
Ann Falsey
Thomas Mariani
Edward Walsh
Derick Peterson