Infectious diseases are disorders caused by organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. Early diagnoses of these diseases are important as it will allow providers to administer effective prophylactic treatment in a timely manner and minimize the opportunity for transmission of the agent.
According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), published online in the Lancet, despite efforts and advances in control, infectious diseases continue to pose “substantial challenges” to US public health.
The report describes the following priority areas – endemic diseases such as chronic hepatitis, HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections affecting millions of individuals and widen health disparities, vaccine preventable diseases causing more than 40,000 deaths, emerging and re-emerging diseases (West Nile Virus, Sin Nombre Virus, swine flu variants, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, dengue fever, and Chikungunya fever) and food borne illnesses (norovirus, Salmonella spp, Clostridium perfringens, and Campylobacter).
Researchers point out that an estimated 20 million vaccine-preventable illnesses, causing more than 40,000 deaths, could be avoided if each birth cohort received proper childhood immunizations. Control of infectious disease is to ensure that scientific and technological advances in molecular diagnostics and bioinformatics are well integrated into public health. Broad and diverse partnerships across governments, health care, academia, and industry, and with the public, are essential to effectively reduce the burden of infectious diseases.
New technologies, the authors mention, will likely play important roles in the control of infectious diseases. These include health communication via social media as well as new laboratory tests and increased understanding of the human microbiome.
The development of immunodiagnostic procedures has significantly reduced the time it takes to diagnose infectious diseases. DPC Immulite 1000 from Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics is a small bench top immunoassay analyzer, designed specifically to meet the various types of immunoassay needs in clinical laboratories. Its reliability and easy-to-use features make the system particularly well suited for use in remote laboratories throughout the world. The ability to deliver exceptional performance, reliability, random access capability, real time monitoring of tests, faster startup times, true STAT capability, and user-friendliness make this immunoassay system an excellent choice for clinical laboratories.