weka utamangisa, tikatamanga awili, tifikapatali" - When
you run alone, you run fast. When you run together, you run further - Zambian Proverb
A large range of microorganisms (bacteria,
viruses and fungi) are responsible for Respiratory Tract Infections (RTIs). RTIs are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. RTIs are difficult to diagnose and current microbiological culture-based techniques are often insensitive, laborious and time-consuming, with results only becoming available after 48 hours or more. RTIs affecting the lung parenchyma (pneumonia) can be classified into three main categories:
The RiD-RTI Consortium was a three year collaborative project designed to deliver an ‘end-to-end’ solution – namely, an easy to use, rapid, high performance alternative to traditional culture-based methods, using molecular sequence-based diagnostics. The project has designed the diagnostic platform around a syndromic presentation rather than a single pathogen. This is unique in that it is predicted to simultaneously detect viruses, bacteria and fungi from the same, single respiratory specimen.
Finally, the skills of individual Consortium Partners are aligned to RiD-RTI’s aim for an ‘end-to-end’ solution – namely the delivery of all the required steps from initial specimen preparation, through molecular processing, to a ‘Hands off’ automated Software-driven and generated result.
RiD-RTI’s vision for ‘sample-in, result-out’ within a two hour (or less) turnaround time to pathogen identification and antibiotic resistance profile will contribute to improved management of RTIs in adults and children alike. Specifically, it is designed to eliminate the current practice of empiric treatment with broad spectrum antibiotics whilst waiting for culture results.
Such empiric antibiotic therapy is necessary for sick patients which, in many cases, turns out to be inappropriate, unnecessary, or both. The consequences for evolution of antibiotic resistance and unwanted side-effects (such as Clostridium difficile infection) are increasingly recognised global problems.
We believe that creating a faster, more sensitive and accurate molecular diagnostic for RTIs will lead to improved patient management algorithms, antibiotic stewardship and patient management outcomes.
Through a unique partnership of Small-Medium Technology Enterprises (SMEs), Universities and Hospitals from four countries, the aims of the RiD-RTI project are to develop and evaluate diagnostic products for the rapid diagnosis of Respiratory Tract Infections (RTIs).
These will be developed on a novel, cost-effective and reliable ‘sample-in, answer-out’ diagnostic platform allowing for the rapid (< 2 hrs) detection, identification and molecular antibiotic susceptibility testing of bacterial and viral pathogens responsible for RTIs.