Researchers at NUI Galway are involved in a new European project, which hopes to deliver a cost effective tool for the speedy diagnosis of respiratory infections such as pneumonia.
The test could reduce diagnosis time from days to hours, allowing for appropriate treatments to be administered as early as possible, resulting in the best possible outcome for sufferers.
According to the World Health Organisation, pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children, killing an estimated 1.4 million children under the age of five each year.
Respiratory tract infections, such as pneumonia, are amongst the top four major causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide.
“There is an urgent need for rapid diagnostic tests capable of identifying the large range of microorganisms and antibiotic resistances involved with infection,” said Dr Thomas Barry of the Molecular Diagnostics Research Group (MDRG) at NUI Galway.
“Speed and accuracy are key to appropriate therapy and survival of the patient.”
The primary objective of the project is to develop new cost effective and user-friendly products for hospital use, which could replace “time-consuming and labour-intensive methods”.
The product will be based on a novel ‘sample-in, result-out’ technology platform and should help deliver the best possible outcome for patients.