Diagnostics in a Forward Deployed Setting

Mil Med. 2017 Sep;182(S2):11-16. doi: 10.7205/MILMED-D-17-00069.


Current diagnostic methods for enteric pathogens include conventional/traditional microbiology, microscopy, enzyme immunoassay, automated identification platforms, and molecular methods. The choice of diagnostic test in the forward deployed military setting often depends on turnaround time, potential etiologic agents, costs, and laboratory capabilities. The military operational environment presents many challenges that impact the practicality and performance of even robust diagnostic platforms. With recent developments in diagnostic platforms and availability of high-performance multiplex molecular methods to pair with traditional culture and antibiotic susceptibility tests, there are more opportunities to gather information on the etiologic causes and clinical impacts of traveler's diarrhea, both in civilians and in deployed military populations. Nevertheless, further assessment of new test methods is warranted to determine field applicability in forward deployed military settings.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine / statistics & numerical data
  • Diarrhea / diagnosis*
  • Diarrhea / drug therapy
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Humans
  • Military Medicine / methods*
  • Warfare*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents