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Final guidance:  tests identifying gastrointestinal pathogens

Tests for people with suspected gastroenteritis

Part of NICE’s diagnostics assessment programme, it does not recommend multiplex polymerase chain reaction tests (xTAG Gastrointestinal Pathogen Panel – Luminex; FilmArray Gastrointestinal Panel – BioFire Diagnostics; Faecal Pathogens B assay – AusDiagnostics) for routine use in the NHS in England.

The tests are designed to detect multiple viral, parasitic and bacterial nucleic acids from stool samples and produce results faster than traditional microbiology techniques, which can involve multiple tests and culture of organisms. This could in turn allow earlier targeted treatment for people with suspected gastroenteritis, and reduce the length of antibiotic treatment when non-bacterial causes are identified.

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