Respiratory infections

When a patient presents to a healthcare facility with a suspected respiratory infection, rapidly establishing the severity and type of infection through laboratory-based diagnostics is paramount.

The healthcare challenge

  • Globally, respiratory diseases are responsible for 4 million deaths each year[1].
  • Respiratory infections are among the top ten causes of death worldwide[2] and are the leading cause of death in developing countries1.
  • In industrialized countries, respiratory infections are a main cause of pediatric outpatient consultations[3].
  • Respiratory infections can be involved in hospital-associated infection (HAI) and HAI outbreaks, as well[4].

The role of diagnostics

Diagnostic testing is essential to help determine the etiologic agent(s) of the infection and the appropriate treatment. Respiratory infections, in general, can be divided into two major anatomic groups:

  • Upper respiratory tract infections
    Upper respiratory tract (URT) infections typically involve one or more anatomic sites in the URT (e.g., nasal passages, epiglottis, sinuses, pharynx, larynx) and are predominately caused by viruses; whereby, treatment is focused on the provision of symptomatic relief.
    However, bacterial causes are common, as well. For example, strep throat is caused by Group A Streptococcus and must be promptly treated with an appropriate antibiotic.
  • Lower respiratory tract infections
    Lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) are typically more serious. The most common LRTIs are acute bronchitis, exacerbation of chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, and bronchiolitis (typically, in young children). Antibiotics are not effective for LRTIs caused by a virus, which is often the case in the setting of acute bronchitis and bronchiolitis.

Our solutions

bioMérieux offers a comprehensive range of solutions includin

  • PCR-based molecular biology solutions with:
  • The BIOFIRE® FILMARRAY® Respiratory Panel, a comprehensive panel of 17 respiratory viruses and 3 bacteria.
  • The BIOFIRE® FILMARRAY® RP2, which tests for 21 pathogens (17 viruses and 4 bacteria) responsible for respiratory tract infections.
  • The BIOFIRE® FILMARRAY® RP2plus panel, which tests for 22 pathogens (18 viruses and 4 bacteria) responsible for respiratory tract infections.

More information on our range for the detection and diagnosis of respiratory infections.

[1] htttp:// Acute Respiratory Infections Atlas 2010
Ferkol T and Schraufnagel D. The Global Burden of Respiratory Disease. Ann Am Thorac Soc 2014; 11( 3) 404–406.

[3] Liao, PeiFen et al. “Respiratory Tract Infection Is the Major Cause of the Ambulatory Visits in Children.” Italian Journal of Pediatrics 37 (2011): 43.

[4] Sydnor, Emily R. M., and Trish M. Perl. “Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control in Acute-Care Settings.” Clinical Microbiology Reviews 24.1 (2011): 141–173.