Respiratory Tract Infections (RTIs) are caused by a variety of bacterial, viral, fungal and other pathogens. RTIs are major causes of morbidity and mortality in adults and children worldwide causing millions of deaths each year. RTIs affecting the lung parenchyma (pneumonia) can be classified into three main categories: Community Acquired Pneumonia (CAP); Hospital Acquired Pneumonia (HAP) which includes Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP); and opportunistic pathogens causing pneumonia in immunosuppressed patients (Opportunistic RTIs or ORTIs). RTIs are difficult to diagnose accurately and current standard microbiological culture based tests are laborious and time consuming with a turnaround time to results > 30 hours. Thus, all ill patients presenting with CAP, HAP, VAP or ORTIs are initially treated empirically with antibiotics, without an accurate identification of the causative microorganism and associated antibiotic susceptibility profile. This leads to inappropriate use of antibiotics, which can increase patient morbidity and mortality. Therefore, there is a great need for rapid molecular diagnostics tests capable of identifying a large range of microorganisms and antibiotic resistances rapidly and accurately so that appropriate therapy can be instituted on first consultation. Accurate pathogen identification and resistance profiling is also important for the epidemiological surveillance of pneumonia. The aims of the RiD-RTI project are (through a unique partnership of SMEs, universities and hospitals from 4 countries) to develop and evaluate three diagnostics products for the rapid diagnosis of CAP, HAP/VAP and ORTIs, based on a novel “sample-in, answer-out” diagnostic platform. The diagnostics products will be designed to be ‘near patient’, reliable, cost-effective and user friendly allowing for the rapid (< 2 hrs) and accurate detection, identification, quantification (for selected targets) and molecular drug susceptibility testing of RTIs.
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Funding SchemeCP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project
NW1 2PG London