The respiratory tract is a complex system that plays a vital role in our daily lives. However, it is susceptible to various infectious agents, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, which can lead to a range of respiratory infections. Understanding these pathogens is crucial not only for diagnosis and treatment but also for preventing the spread of these infections.
In this blog, we will embark on a journey to uncover the critical pathogens involved in respiratory tract infections. From well-known viruses like influenza and rhinovirus to lesser-known bacteria and fungi, we will delve into their characteristics, transmission modes, and the diseases they cause. By understanding these pathogens comprehensively, we can take proactive steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
Furthermore, we will explore the remarkable advancements in diagnostic techniques, particularly the Respiratory Tract Infections RT-qPCR Panel Test. This cutting-edge molecular assay has revolutionized the field of respiratory infection diagnosis by providing rapid and accurate results. We will guide you through the principles behind this test, its advantages, and how it can significantly impact the management and control of respiratory tract infections.
What are the Respiratory Tract Infections?
Any infectious condition of the upper or lower respiratory tract is called a respiratory tract infection (RTI). The common cold, laryngitis, pharyngitis/tonsillitis, acute rhinitis, acute rhinosinusitis, and acute otitis media are examples of upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs). Infections of the lower respiratory tract (LRTIs) include pneumonia, tracheitis, bronchiolitis, and acute bronchitis. In primary care, antibiotics are frequently administered for RTIs in both adults and children. According to general practice consultation rates in England and Wales, a quarter of the population visits their general practitioner each year due to an RTI. RTIs account for 60% of all antibiotic prescriptions in general practice, which is expensive for the NHS. For only an acute cough, annual prescription expenses reach £15 million .
What are the Pathogens of Respiratory Tract Infections?
Several pathogens can cause respiratory tract infections. These pathogens include viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
Some well-known respiratory viruses include:
- Influenza viruses (flu)
- Rhinoviruses (common cold)
- Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
- Coronaviruses (including SARS-CoV-2 responsible for COVID-19)
Common bacterial pathogens include:
- Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus)
- Haemophilus influenzae
- Bordetella pertussis (whooping cough)
- Mycoplasma pneumoniae
- Legionella pneumophila (Legionnaires’ disease)
- Chlamydia pneumoniae
Notable respiratory fungal pathogens include:
- Aspergillus species
- Candida species
- Cryptococcus neoformans
What is Respiratory Tract Infections RT-qPCR Panel Test?
Respiratory tract infections (RTI) are one of the most common diseases around the world. Also, RTI accounts for a large percentage of all occupational disease mortality. RTIs are difficult to effectively diagnose and avoid early and focused therapy start due to the vast number of causal factors. Patients’ health and the general public might be in danger without a quick diagnosis.
The Respiratory Tract Infections RT-qPCR Panel Test is a sophisticated diagnostic tool used to detect and identify pathogens responsible for respiratory tract infections. RT-qPCR stands for Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction, a technique that allows the detection and quantification of genetic material, specifically RNA in this case.
The RT-qPCR panel test can screen for multiple respiratory pathogens simultaneously, providing comprehensive and rapid results. It enables healthcare professionals to identify the presence of specific viruses, bacteria, or fungi responsible for the infection, aiding in precise diagnosis and appropriate treatment decisions. Using RT-qPCR panel tests has significantly transformed the diagnosis and management of respiratory tract infections, enabling healthcare providers to make informed decisions, optimize patient care, and effectively control the spread of infectious diseases.
How to Use the Respiratory Tract Infections RT-qPCR Panel Test?
Using the Respiratory Tract Infections RT-qPCR Panel Test involves several steps. First, a respiratory sample is collected from the patient, typically through methods like nasal or throat swabs or sputum samples. The sample must be handled carefully to maintain its integrity and transported following the provided instructions. Once the sample reaches the laboratory, professionals perform the test. They begin by preparing the sample, extracting the genetic material, usually RNA, from the pathogens present. This is followed by reverse transcription, where the RNA is converted into complementary DNA (cDNA) to enable amplification. The cDNA is then subjected to the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which amplifies specific target regions of the pathogens’ genetic material. Fluorescent probes or dyes are used for real-time detection and measurement of the amplified genetic material. The PCR instrument generates data, which is analyzed to determine the presence or absence of specific respiratory pathogens and their relative concentrations. The results are interpreted by laboratory professionals based on established criteria and reported to the healthcare provider. The healthcare provider will discuss the results with the patient, provide appropriate treatment recommendations, and address any further concerns. It is crucial to follow the instructions provided by the healthcare provider and testing facility for accurate and reliable results.
Vitrosens Biotechnology offers a range of respiratory kits designed to facilitate the accurate and efficient detection of respiratory pathogens. These kits are specifically developed to aid in the diagnosis and monitoring of respiratory tract infections. The respiratory kits from Vitrosens Biotechnology are optimized for use with advanced molecular diagnostic techniques RT-qPCR.
In conclusion, the respiratory kits from Vitrosens Biotechnology provide reliable, accurate, and efficient solutions for the detection of respiratory pathogens. With their advanced technology and user-friendly design, these kits contribute to improved diagnosis, management, and control of respiratory tract infections.
 Respiratory Tract Infections – Antibiotic Prescribing: Prescribing of Antibiotics for Self-Limiting Respiratory Tract Infections in Adults and Children in Primary Care. London: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE); 2008 Jul.
Figure 3: Mao, Z. Q., Fukuta, M., Balingit, J. C., Nguyen, T. T. N., Nguyen, C. T., Inoue, S., … & Moi, M. L. (2021). Direct viral RNA detection of SARS-CoV-2 and DENV in inactivated samples by real-time RT-qPCR: implications for diagnosis in resource limited settings with flavivirus Co-circulation. Pathogens, 10(12), 1558.