Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


PNEUMOSIP — Result In Brief

Project ID: 685052
Country: Spain
Domain: Health, Society

State-of-the-art device speeds up pneumonia diagnosis

Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), the most common type of pneumonia, is a leading cause of death globally with an associated annual cost in Europe of about EUR 10 billion. Current diagnostic methods are too slow, and increasing antibiotic resistance make CAP harder to treat.
State-of-the-art device speeds up pneumonia diagnosis
CAP is the fourth most common cause of death in adults (90 % over 65) and the number one cause in children under 5. There are about 3.4 million cases reported annually in Europe. CAP is an enormous burden on the economy because of patients who are diagnosed too late. It also puts a tremendous strain on healthcare resources.

Early diagnosis key to keeping pneumonia mortality rates down

To manage patients and reduce mortality, rapid diagnostic techniques with high capacity and sensitivity are in great demand. Existing methods to identify pneumonia are time-consuming, and are characterised by low sensitivity and specificity. They also fail to provide useful information for prescribing appropriate treatment in avoiding possible resistance to antibiotics.

The three main pathogens responsible for CAP in Europe are Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae type b and respiratory syncytial virus. “There’s a clear and urgent need for a rapid, reliable, fully automatic and cost-effective method to properly diagnose the most common causes of pneumonia in Europe,” says Miguel Roncales, CEO of AlphaSIP, the company managing the EU-funded project PneumoSIP. “This method should also analyse antibiotic resistance, helping to prescribe the right treatment in the shortest possible time period.”

To date, project partners have built a prototype point-of-care (PoC) system. With preclinical validation complete, they are starting with the clinical validation phase. Definitive results are expected in June 2018.

Quick and easy solution to properly diagnose pneumonia

The molecular diagnostic PoC device will provide a one-stop, automated sample-to-result solution for the speedy diagnosis of CAP infectious agents. The diagnosis is based on a patented procedure previously developed within the scope of the EU-funded CAJAL4EU project.

According to Mr Roncales, the PoC device surpasses existing methods by reducing the time needed to obtain results, and gives information about the best line of treatment. It will serve as an accurate and immediate clinical management decision tool by using a single sample to determine the occurrence and level of activity of the three different agents and their resistance to antibiotics.

The innovation is designed to help doctors confirm the existence of the disease in less than two hours, identify what is causing it and supply data to better select treatment options. “It will provide the right information for doctors to make the most informed decisions,” explains Mr Roncales. “As a result, patients will be treated faster and more reliably, thus helping to reduce mortality.”

The system promises widespread reach due to its compact design and simple operation. It can be employed by a variety of professionals in most public and private hospitals, physician office laboratories, emergency units, primary care centres and even pharmacies in some particular regions. “They will all benefit from a rapid, measurable detection of biological agents and antibiotic resistance with high levels of accuracy at affordable prices,” concludes Mr Roncales.

Ultimately, PneumoSIP should improve the efficiency of Europe’s healthcare system by allowing hospitals to do more work in less time while reducing the overall costs associated with CAP testing, hospitalisation and improper treatment.

Related information


PneumoSIP, community-acquired pneumonia, point-of-care device, antibiotic resistance
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