Globally, acute infectious gastroenteritis is a substantial public health burden resulting in 3-5 billion cases of diarrhea and 4-10 million deaths each year. The microbial pathogens responsible for these infections are diverse and difficult to distinguish clinically or by current laboratory methods. Recent developments in technology have led to the introduction of multiplex assays that can simultaneously detect and identify multiple gastrointestinal pathogens, including bacteria, viruses and parasites. The clinical utility, impact on outcomes, and cost-effectiveness of this approach remains to be determined.
1.To review viral, bacterial and parasitic causes of diarrhea.
2.To provide an overview of commercial multiplex enteric pathogen diagnostic tests.
3.To contrast near-patient and batch-testing approaches.