David K. Hong, M.D. VP Medical Affairs and Clinical Development at Karius

Non-Invasive Liquid Biopsy Can Detect Deep Seated Infections

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

David K. Hong, M.D. VP Medical Affairs and Clinical Development at Karius

Dr. Hong

David K. Hong, M.D.

VP Medical Affairs and Clinical Development at Karius

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Invasive fungal infections (IFI) are a cause of significant mortality and morbidity in immunocompromised patients. The diagnosis of IFIs is challenging, and often requires an invasive biopsy in order to identify the causal pathogen. There is a need for non-invasive methods of fungal identification to help guide targeted anti-fungal therapy.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: The Karius Test is a non-invasive next-generation sequencing (NGS) test of cell-free plasma that is a liquid biopsy for infectious diseases. In this study, this plasma test was able to detect fungi from deep-seated infections. These infections were identified clinically via an invasive procedure and conventional microbiology methods. The Karius Test can be a useful aid in the diagnosis of invasive fungi.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: These findings will need to be validated in a larger cohort of patients to establish the performance characteristics of the test. We will also be extending these findings in a larger study to demonstrate the clinical utility and potential cost savings that would be realized by using the Karius test.

The use of NGS for cell-free plasma as a liquid biopsy for infectious disease will be studied in other deep infections such as pneumonia and endocarditis.  

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: This test is run in a CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited laboratory and is currently available to clinicians.


Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2018 Jun 22. pii: S0732-8893(18)30195-0. doi: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2018.06.009. [Epub ahead of print]

Liquid biopsy for infectious diseases: sequencing of cell-free plasma to detect pathogen DNA in patients with invasive fungal disease.

Hong DK1, Blauwkamp TA2, Kertesz M2, Bercovici S2, Truong C3, Banaei N4.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2018 by Marie Benz MD FAAD