New EU project to seek better diagnosis of pneumonia
EU-funded researchers are about to embark on a new European project that hopes to deliver a cost-effective tool for the speedy diagnosis of infections such as pneumonia.
The aim is to come up with a test that would reduce the diagnosis time of respiratory tract infections from days to hours, so that the appropriate treatments can be administered as early as possible, giving patients the best possible chance of a swift recovery. These diagnostic products will be based on a novel 'sample-in, result-out' technology platform.
The project, titled RID-RTI ('Rapid Identification of Respiratory Tract Infections'), brings together researchers from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), universities and hospitals across Ireland, France, Finland and the United Kingdom and is supported by a EUR 5 997 737 boost of funding from the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
Dr Thomas Barry from the Molecular Diagnostics Research Group at NUI Galway in Ireland comments: 'There is an urgent need for rapid diagnostic tests capable of identifying the large range of microorganisms and antibiotic resistances involved with infection. Speed and accuracy are key to appropriate therapy and survival of the patient. The ultimate objective is to develop new cost effective, user-friendly products that will be routinely used in hospitals. This could replace time-consuming and labour-intensive methods so that a diagnosis can be achieved within a couple of hours, rather than days or weeks.'
Respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia, are amongst the top four major causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children, killing an estimated 1.4 million children under the age of 5 each year, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Caused by a variety of bacterial, viral, fungal and other pathogens, respiratory tract infections are difficult to diagnose accurately and current standard microbiological culture-based tests are time consuming, typically taking up to 30 hours. Whilst they wait for an accurate diagnosis patients are initially treated with a, often inappropriate, course of antibiotics, which can result in increased patient morbidity and mortality.
The RID-RTI project hopes to meet the need for rapid molecular diagnostics tests that can identify a large range of microorganisms and antibiotic resistances rapidly and accurately so that appropriate therapy can be started straight away.
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Data Source Provider: NUI Galway
Document Reference: Based on information from NUI Galway
Subject Index: Coordination, Cooperation; Life Sciences; Medicine, Health; Scientific Research