Conjunctivitis Detectors

Point-of-Care Diagnostic Tests for Conjunctivitis

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Pink Eye Detectors

Recently, the FDA cleared and CLIA waived a new medical device called the RPS Adeno Detector that can accurately aid physicians in determining the cause of conjunctivitis otherwise known as pink eye. Contagious conjunctivitis is typically caused by either a virus or bacteria. Adenovirus is the most common overall cause of a red eye worldwide. The RPS Adeno Detector works like a pregnancy test or rapid Strep test used to rule out Strep throat in children with sore throats. A small tear sample is collected from the eye and transferred to the RPS Adeno Detector. In 10 minutes, the test develops a result before the patient leaves the doctor’s office; one line is negative and two lines is positive.

Distinguishing viral from bacterial disease is very important for several reasons. Unlike bacterial conjunctivitis that becomes relatively noncontagious after 48 hours of appropriate antibiotic therapy, adenoviral conjunctivitis does not improve with topical antibiotics and remains contagious until the eye is no longer red and tearing. Patients with known adenovirus should be out of school, work, or daycare longer than bacterial disease. This can limit the overall spread of disease. Additionally, some types of adenoviral conjunctivitis, but not bacterial conjunctivitis, can lead to persistent decreased vision, light sensitivity, tearing, and lid scarring. Preventing the transmission of viral disease can limit these complications. Although both conditions usually resolve on their own over time, bacterial conjunctivitis gets better faster and becomes less contagious after using topical antibiotics. However, unnecessary antibiotics do not help with viral conjunctivitis and may cause eye allergies, corneal toxicity, and contribute to the growing problem of antibiotic resistance in the eye. Thus, the RPS Adeno Detector can provide health care professionals with a definitive result in 10 minutes and makes a laboratory confirmation of adenoviral conjunctivitis readily available at the time of the patient exam.

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