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Acute respiratory tract infections: a paradigm shift in diagnosis

Acute respiratory tract infections are a significant burden on healthcare services. Here, Carolyne Horner considers an alternative approach to diagnosis in which a change in human immune response is the focus of detection.

Acute respiratory tract infections (aRTIs) are common. Occurring throughout the year, aRTIs are typically associated with a seasonal increase during the autumn/winter months (October–March).1

A wide range of bacteria and viruses cause aRTIs; viruses being the most common aetiology.2 Commonly spread by the airborne route and by touching surfaces that have come into contact with infectious aerosols and respiratory droplets, aRTIs are highly contagious and reinfection is common (Fig 1).3

Characteristically, aRTIs have a sudden onset and relatively short duration. Most upper RTIs are mild, self-limiting and resolve within one to two weeks. On the other hand, lower RTIs, such as pneumonia, may be more severe, take longer for symptoms to resolve, and require healthcare intervention (Table 1).4

Clinical presentation for most aRTIs is non-specific and overlaps between syndrome

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Upcoming Events

analytica 2022

Messe München, Germany
June 21-24, 2022

The Genomic and Microbiology Revolution: In Technology We Trust?

Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon, London
19 July 2022

Arab Lab Live 2022

Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre Dubai World Trade Centre - Trade Centre - Trade Centre 2 - Dubai - United Arab Emirates
24 - 26 October 2022

Lab Innovations 2022

Hall 2 NEC, Birmingham
2 & 3 November 2022

MEDICA 2022

Messe Düsseldorf D-40474 Düsseldorf, Stockumer Kirchstraße 61
14 - 17 November 2022

Access the latest issue of Pathology In Practice on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Pathology In Practice app from your device's App store

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