Fast, accurate and cost-effective diagnoses to tackle respiratory infections

July 29, 2015, CORDIS
Fast, accurate and cost-effective diagnoses to tackle respiratory infections

ecently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the study found that starting anti-HIV treatment within two weeks of TB being diagnosed improved survival rates among patients with both infections who had very low immune-cell counts. Those with strong immune systems, however, appeared to benefit from waiting until after the end of the six-month TB treatment before initiating anti-HIV therapy. The study recommended updating guidelines to take these findings into account.

Treating HIV and TB simultaneously has proved challenging for a number of reasons, including the requirement for patients to take multiple pills, as well as drug to drug interactions and overlapping side effects. This particular study sought to investigate the optimal timing of HIV treatment initiation in light of recent clinical trials.

This is one example of how the RID-RTI project, which began in July 2012, has contributed to improving the survival chances of patients with Respiratory Tract Infections (RTIs). These infections are caused by a variety of bacterial, viral and fungal pathogens and are major causes of morbidity and mortality in adults and children worldwide.

RTIs such as TB and pneumonia are a truly global health problem. In 2013 there were an estimated 9 million new cases of TB, with between 1.3 and 1.5 million associated deaths. More people in the developing world contract TB because of poor immune systems largely due to high rates of HIV infection and the development of AIDS.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children globally, killing an estimated 1.4 million children under the age of five each year.

One reason why RTIs continue to proliferate is that they are so difficult to diagnose quickly and accurately. Current tests are intensely time consuming, and as a result, patients presenting RTI symptoms are often treated uniformly with antibiotics without the causative microorganism being accurately identified. This can lead to the inappropriate use of antibiotics, which in turn increases patient morbidity and mortality.

In order to address this issue, the RID-RTI project – built around a consortium of SMEs, universities and hospitals from Finland, France, Ireland and the UK – has sought to develop a rapid molecular diagnostic test capable of identifying a large range of microorganisms responsible for RTIs. This will lead to more appropriate therapies applied after the very first consultation.

The test, which is being built on a simple 'sample-in, answer-out' diagnostic platform, will be cost-effective and user friendly, and will be capable of delivering results in under two hours. This sets it apart from current diagnostics technology. It is hoped that the speed and accuracy of the platform will revolutionise how RTIs are treated.

Furthermore, an exploitation plan is now being developed to ensure that project results can be translated into commercial products. The ultimate objective is for new cost effective, user-friendly products to be routinely used in hospitals. The RID-RTI project is due for completion at the end of December 2015.

Explore further: Early HIV treatment improves survival in some patients with newly diagnosed TB

More information: For further information please visit RID-RTI:

Related Stories

Early HIV treatment improves survival in some patients with newly diagnosed TB

July 9, 2015
Starting anti-HIV treatment within two weeks of the diagnosis of tuberculosis, or TB, improved survival among patients with both infections who had very low immune-cell counts, according to an analysis by researchers at the ...

Diabetes—Tuberculosis link found in Australia

July 27, 2015
A 20-year study by James Cook University scientists has found a strong link between diabetes and tuberculosis in tropical Australia.

A low-cost urine test for tuberculousis that could save thousands of lives

September 29, 2014
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious bacterial disease that affects the lungs and kills nearly two million people every year. Most of these deaths occur among the poorest communities in the world, where access to medical care ...

Scientists to study the role genes play in treating tuberculosis

October 25, 2012
The University of Liverpool has been awarded funding to determine whether differences in our genes determine how patients respond to drugs used to treat Tuberculosis (TB) in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Fluoroquinolones halt multidrug-resistant-TB in contacts

July 24, 2015
(HealthDay)—For contacts of individuals with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB), fluoroquinolone (FQN) therapy is associated with health system savings and reduced mortality, according to a study published in the ...

Recommended for you

Researchers find infectious prions throughout eyes of patients with deadly sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

November 20, 2018
By the time symptoms of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) are typically discovered, death is looming and inevitable. But, in a new study, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine with colleagues ...

Researchers a step closer to understanding how deadly bird flu virus takes hold in humans

November 19, 2018
New research has taken a step towards understanding how highly pathogenic influenza viruses such as deadly bird flu infect humans.

Infants born to obese mothers risk developing liver disease, obesity

November 16, 2018
Infant gut microbes altered by their mother's obesity can cause inflammation and other major changes within the baby, increasing the risk of obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease later in life, according to researchers ...

New study shows NKT cell subsets play a large role in the advancement of NAFLD

November 16, 2018
Since 2015 it has been known that the gut microbiota could have a direct impact on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which affects up to 12% of adults and is a leading cause of chronic liver disease. In the November ...

Antibiotic prescribing influenced by team dynamics within hospitals

November 15, 2018
Antibiotic prescribing by doctors is influenced by team dynamics and cultures within hospitals.

Discovery suggests new route to fight infection, disease

November 14, 2018
New research reveals how a single protein interferes with the immune system when exposed to the bacterium that causes Legionnaires' disease, findings that could have broad implications for development of medicines to fight ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.