Center for Health Policy and Research (CHPR) Publications

UMMS Affiliation

Massachusetts Supranational Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory; Center for Health Policy and Research



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

Anti-Bacterial Agents; Bacteria; Cells, Cultured; Erythrocytes; Fungi; HEK293 Cells; HeLa Cells; Herpesvirus 1, Human; Herpesvirus 2, Human; Humans; Microbial Sensitivity Tests; Plasmodium falciparum; RNA; Reproducibility of Results; Species Specificity; Urine


Bacterial Infections and Mycoses | Genetics and Genomics | Immunology and Infectious Disease | Medical Sciences | Public Health | Respiratory Tract Diseases


With rising rates of drug-resistant infections, there is a need for diagnostic methods that rapidly can detect the presence of pathogens and reveal their susceptibility to antibiotics. Here we propose an approach to diagnosing the presence and drug-susceptibility of infectious diseases based on direct detection of RNA from clinical samples. We demonstrate that species-specific RNA signatures can be used to identify a broad spectrum of infectious agents, including bacteria, viruses, yeast, and parasites. Moreover, we show that the behavior of a small set of bacterial transcripts after a brief antibiotic pulse can rapidly differentiate drug-susceptible and -resistant organisms and that these measurements can be made directly from clinical materials. Thus, transcriptional signatures could form the basis of a uniform diagnostic platform applicable across a broad range of infectious agents.

Rights and Permissions

Citation: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Apr 17;109(16):6217-22. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1119540109. Epub 2012 Apr 2. Link to article on publisher's site


Publisher PDF posted as allowed by the publisher's author rights policy at

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.