RESPIRATORY DISEASES ARE DEBILITATING & TENACIOUS, & CAN BE EXACERBATED OVER TIME BY INFECTION.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a chronic inflammatory lung disease, causes obstructed airflow from the lungs; and cystic fibrosis (CF) is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections, limiting the ability to breathe over time.
By the time symptoms appear, there is usually already significant lung damage. Respiratory infections further inflame the lungs, compromising breathing and causing further damage to lung tissue.
If these exacerbations can be predicted before the symptoms appear, they can be dealt with earlier, limiting their effect and the potential consequences. Being able to determine whether the inflammation is eosinophil or neutrophil-based can help to determine whether steroids or antibiotics are the best therapy.
Diagnostic tests in development include:
Headstart can be used in cases of COPD as a rapid test for urine, to detect markers indicating exacerbation of the disease before the symptoms develop. (Multiplex.)
Rightstart is a rapid test of whole blood which can determine if a COPD exacerbation is eosinophilic or neutrophilic to guide either steroid or antibiotic treatment. (Multiplex.)
HeadsUp is a rapid test of urine to detect an impending exacerbation of cystic fibrosis before symptoms develop. (Multiplex.)