The chemical Luminol is used at ___2___because it fluoresces in the presence of blood. When we get an infection, white blood cells called phagocytes leap into action. In the process, they consume oxygen and produce what are called Reactive Oxygen Species, or ROS. Luminol makes the ROS glow.
But bacterial and viral infections produce different ROS’s and so have different types of glows. By ___3___ the infections of 69 patients, the researchers were able to create different Luminol signatures for bacterial versus viral infections. In ___4___, the scientists achieved 89 percent accuracy. The research was published in the journal Analytical Chemistry.
The scientists hope to ___5___the test to make it more accurate. Which could help doctors make better diagnoses—and reduce the use of unnecessary antibiotics.