"We found diarrhea was caused by multiple infections more often than was appreciated before - often there were two, three or four infections on top of each other," said Eric Houpt, MD, of the UVA Division of Infectious Diseases and International Health.
noted that the new panel of assays offers improved diagnostic ability over the traditional approach.
"The old methods missed infections a lot of times," he
"There was more Shigella and toxin-producing E. coli than previously seen.
It's as though we are now able to see with glasses."
Perhaps even more importantly, the new approach offered invaluable insights into how severe an infection needed to be to cause symptoms.
"Our methods were able to not just detect infections but quantify how much was there, and that proved to be critical," Houpt
It was authored by UVA
's Liu, Jean Gratz, Steve M. Becker, Darwin J. Operario, Mami Taniuchi, Lalitha Janaki, James A. Platts-Mills, Doris M. Haverstick and Houpt
, in collaboration with colleagues in Pakistan, The Gambia, Thailand, Bangladesh and Tanzania.