Clin Infect Dis
The clinical signs and symptoms of acute respiratory tract infections (RTIs) are not pathogen specific. Highly sensitive and specific nucleic acid amplification tests have become the diagnostic reference standard for viruses and translation of bacterial assays from basic research to routine clinical practice represents an exciting advance in respiratory medicine. Most recently, molecular diagnostics have played an essential role in the global health response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. How best to use newer molecular tests for RTI in combination with clinical judNorthwell Healthnt and traditional methods can be bewildering given the plethora of available assays and rapidly evolving technologies. Here, we summarize the current state of the art with respect to the diagnosis of viral and bacterial RTIs, provide a practical framework for diagnostic decision-making using selected patient-centered vignettes, and make recommendations for future studies to advance the field.
School of Medicine
Pathology and Laboratory Medicine