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Vol. 16 - Num. 63

Special Articles

Biomarkers for the screening of pediatric infectious diseases: A true diagnostic revolution for the developing world

Lola Madrida, M Lanaspaa, Quique Bassat Orellanaa

aCentre de Investigació en Salut Internacional de Barcelona (CRESIB). Hospital Clínic/Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer. Universitat de Barcelona. Centro de Investigação em Saúde de Manhiça (CISM). CIBER Epidemiología y Salud Pública. Barcelona. Maputo. España. Mozambique.

Correspondence: L Madrid. E-mail: lola.madrid@manhica.net

Reference of this article: Madrid L, Lanaspa M, Bassat Orellana Q. Biomarkers for the screening of pediatric infectious diseases: A true diagnostic revolution for the developing world. Rev Pediatr Aten Primaria. 2014;16:259-64.

Published in Internet: 30-09-2014 - Visits: 6011

Abstract

Health workers in rural facilities in Africa are confronted every day with the diagnosis and treatment of sick children with infectious diseases. Malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea are among the most important infectious diseases in developing countries in terms of morbidity and mortality burden in children. However, there is a scarcity of diagnostic tools to determine the etiologic origin of these infections in health facilities in rural Africa, and therefore guide clinical management including the prescription of anti-malarials and/or antibiotics.

Clinical presentations of malaria, bacterial infections and viral infections often overlap, particularly in children. Misdiagnosis of malaria, bacterial infections and viral infections may increase the morbidity and mortality among children, as well as boost resistance levels to antimalarial drugs and antibiotics.

As a result, there is a need to develop new diagnostic tools for infectious diseases that can be used for diagnosis of such highly prevalent conditions in the developing world.

Malaria rapid diagnostic tests are a good example of these new diagnostic tools, affordable, accessible and with a high-impact on the diagnosis of one of the diseases causing more deaths in the developing world. Widespread implementation of tools similar to the RDTs for other infectious diseases, and particularly those of bacterial origin, will surely result in improvements in the recognition and management of life-threatening childhood infections, and in a reduction of their intolerable burden.

Keywords

Biomarkers Infant mortality Infectious diseases Malaria Rapid tests

 

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