Diagnostic tests: How do they work?
Diagnostic tests analyze biological samples (blood, saliva, urine, skin, etc.) taken from patients. They detect and quantify the presence of bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites as well as substances secreted by the human body – for example by measuring the level of a hormone or a marker specific to a disease.
Two types of tests are used:
- Tests to directly detect and identify disease agents by:
- Using cultures to multiply the pathogens, thus increasing the probability of detection;
- Detecting the pathogen’s genetic material using molecular tests, or determining its chemical structure by using mass spectrometry to analyze the mass and charge of its ions.
- Indirect tests to identify the immune response to an infection, such as screening for antibodies whose presence indicates contact with a virus, bacterium or parasite.
bioMérieux’s priority objectives
We place the patient at the center of bioMérieux’s priorities as we work to develop high medical value diagnostic solutions with a positive economic impact on healthcare systems. Our vision of healthcare is closely aligned with the concept of 4P medicine for today and tomorrow: predictive, preventive, participatory and personalized.
Our diagnostic solutions address major public health challenges in the fields of antimicrobial resistance, syndromic infectious disease diagnostics, critical care and infectious diseases like sepsis. They support physicians and help them to make the appropriate decisions for the management of numerous diseases, which preserves the quality of life of patients and the well-being of healthy populations while limiting healthcare spending.