Case Study

A Rare Infection, Standard Tests Came Back Negative

Mid 2018, Sean* started to have odd symptoms unusual for an otherwise healthy 33-year-old man. His symptoms initially ranged from intense skin irritation to nausea of which no over the counter medicines seemed to be helping. After several dermatology appointments, doctors were stumped as to why Sean was also proving to be unresponsive to prescribed medications and ointments. His illness’s symptoms were increasing, however, soon consuming more of his daily life and work.

After suffering for months, Sean was one day sent to the ER having suffered from a stroke. Doctors were again baffled as to what could be causing it when the panel of tests seemed to show all negatives. Sean, fearing permanent brain damage, started looking for newer forms of testing that might be able to find some answers. There are currently hundreds of thousands of proposed bacteria, archaea, fungi, and viruses and undoubtedly countless more to be discovered. Current methods might sometimes be able to find what’s wrong, but how long would they take? This was when he found our company geared towards broad detection.

*names and dates changed to protect the patient’s privacy
Continue below…

Sean sent a blood plasma through Aperiomics Xplore-PATHOSM hoping to find something out of the ordinary.

One of the top pathogens identified was a very unusual species which has hospitalized some of the very few other people who have been exposed to it. Thought to rarely infect humans in the US, Rickettsia felis is an rare bacterium found in cat fleas. The current methods for diagnosing R. felis are often known to fail. Coupling the traditional testing method’s narrow focus with the clinical rarity of this bacterium equals a recipe for missed identification, and in Sean’s case, prolonged illness, poor quality of life, and potentially worse.

Armed with knowledge, his doctor diagnosed him with R. felis induced bacteremia and was given pinpointed treatment against it. Today Sean is symptom-free and finally able to move on.