Multiplex nucleic acid testing is increasingly used to diagnose childhood gastroenteritis. The advantages of this disruptive technology include rapidity, sensitivity, and ability to detect pathogenic viruses, bacteria, and parasites simultaneously. The drawbacks are its capacity to identify organisms of uncertain clinical significance in North American children, cost, and inability to provide viable bacteria for strain typing by public health authorities. However, this technology will certainly improve our knowledge of the causes of human gut infections. As data emerge, physicians should interpret results cautiously, and, most important, consider the context of the presentation before making clinical decisions based on the readouts.
- Multiplex PCR