Infectology – Pediatrics – Autoimmune

Infectology include the investigation and treatment of viral, bacterial, and protozoal infections within humans. In the field of Infectology, a fast and clear diagnosis is crucial in order to minimise the risk of infection and to provide effective treatment.

Children and adolescent medicine (pediatrics) includes all areas of clinical medicine. Diagnostic tools are especially important within the field of pediatrics since children often are unable to properly describe symptoms. In many cases, more serious diseases can be excluded through diagnostic tools.

In particular, key aspects of Infectology deal with the diagnosis of significant diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis and Tuberculosis.

For the following indications we offer Rapid Screening Tests:

Beta-hemolytic streptococcus bacteria of the Lancefield Group A (Streptococcus A, Strep A) are responsible for a number of diseases. In many cases they are the main reason for an infection of the upper respiratory system, such as pharyngitis (soar throat) and tonsillitis. A typical clinical picture of Strep A is a scarlet colouring; but this can also be a symptom of sinusitis or otitis media (inflamation of the middle ear). Streptococcal infections with Streptococcus pyogenes occur frequently with children between the age of 5 and 15 years. S. pyogenes is highly communicable and the transmission typically results from airborne salivary droplet or nasal discharge. Due to the nonspecific clinical symptoms which could be suggestive of various cold like sicknesses, the diagnosis of Strep A must be made through the appropriate methods to distinguish the sickness from other viral infections.

Influenza, commonly referred to as the flu, is an acute, highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract. It is an infectious disease caused by single stranded RNA viruses, known as the Influenza Viruses or Orthomyxoviridae. There are three types of the Influenza Virus: A, B and C. Type A viruses are the most widespread and cause some of the most serious flu epidemics. The transmission of the virus can be caused by direct contact of droplets from the nose or throat of an infected person, direct contact or through a smear infection.

A/H1N1 2009: During 2009 a large outbreak of the Influenza Virus took place, caused by a new strain of the Subtype A / H1N1. The infection spread globally and was talked about as the “Pandemic H1N1 2009”, and was generally given the nomenclatures “Swine Flu” or “New Flu”.

The Capsule-reactive Protein (CrP) is a nonspecific inflammatory marker. It is a acute-phase protein whose concentration in blood increases with infectious inflammations as well as those of the noninfectious type, which is quicker (already after about 6 hours) and clearer than other parameters (i.e. Fever, increase in leucocytes). A confirmation of elevated CrP levels (> 50 mg/l bzw. > 100 mg/l) is an important indicator for acute or chronic inflammation, autoimmune or immune complex disorders such as tissue necrosis or malignant tumours.

Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver caused by the Hepatitis A virus, in which the white blood cells increase their levels within the liver. Inadequate hygiene is often a reason for the infection and it is therefore recommended to receive a vaccine before travelling to third world countries.

Hepatitis B is a serious disease in which the virus affects the liver. The Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) can be a life long infection leading to liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver failure, and even death. Hepatitis B is a common disease, occuring worldwide, effecting the lives of millions. The grave, pathological consequences of a sustained HBV infection include the development of chronic, hepatic insufficiencies, liver cirrohsis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Hepatitis B is transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids and through blood-to-blood contact. Higher concentrations of the Hepatitis B virus can also be found in saliva, bile and breast milk.

The Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is a major cause of chronic liver disease, which regularly develops into cirrhosis and also poses an increase risk of liver cell carcinomas. In contrast to HAV, HBV as well as HCV can lead to a chronic progression of the disease. In most cases, Hepatitis C is a chronic and serious disease. Due to the lack of passive HCV-Prophylaxe , for example after injections, it is important to quickly detect the presence of HCV.

For this field we offer the following rapid tests:

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The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) belongs to the family of retroviruses and to the genus of lentiviruses. It is responsible for the weakening of the human immune system. An infection leads to varying lengths, on average a several year long incubation period then leading to AIDS (Aquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome), a currently incurable immune system disease.

The virus is spread through unprotected sex or blood-to-blood contact. To prevent the further spread of the virus and to begin appropriate therapy as soon as possible the rapid diagnosis of the infection is very important.

For this field of diagnosis we offer the following rapid tests:

Infectious mononucleosis (IM), also known as the “kissing disease” is an infectious disease caused by the Epstein-Barr-Virus (EBV). EBV infections arise through mucous membranes (mouth, nose, throat) and the B-lymphocytes. The pathogen is transmitted through droplets, contact, or smear infection as well as through coughing, sneezing, and saliva.

Diarrheal diseases are one of the most widespread sicknesses across the world and can be caused from human rotavirus (Reoviridae family) and human adenovirus (Adenoviridae family). In particular, the rotavirus-gastroenteritis and pediatric rotavirus-gastroenteritis (PRG) are diarrheal diseases that are particularly dangerous to infants and young children and are a highly contagious infection. Adenoviruses are associated with a wide range of clinical pictures. Gastroenteritis (intestinal flu, vomiting and diarrhea) and respectively gastroenteritis (stomach, intestinal inflammation) will be, especially with children, triggered by the Adenovirus Serotypes 40 and 41. With both virus types, the transmission of the disease frequently occurs by a fecal-oral route through a smear infection.

The human Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is an RNA Virus that belongs to the Paramyxoviridae family. It is a major cause of respiratory system complications within every age group. In the field of pediatrics, especially with children under the age of 4, it is the most common cause of serious respiratory system infections (e.g. bronchitis, cough, otitis media). Grown-ups normally show lenient symptoms, but with older people and those with a weak immune system, RSV can progress to a serious stage with high mortality rates. Transmission can occur via a droplet infection or through the mucus membranes of the mouth, nose, and eyes.

Tetanus (lockjaw) is an acute, often deadly infectious disease which is caused by tetanospasim, a neuro-toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium tetani. The highly toxic pathogen effects the central nervous system. In the body, the bacteria multiplies and produces tetanospasim and tetanolysin, a poison to the nerves. Tetanus effects the skeletal muscle and can lead to muscle spasms throughout the body. Clostridium tetani is found in the ground, for example in road dust, and can enter the body through a wound of any size and even scratches

Tuberculosis (TBC) is a chronic infectious disease which is mainly caused by Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, other pathogesn such as M. bovis, M. africanum, and M. microti are also found sporadically in tuberculosis diseases. In most cases the lungs are affected but other organs can also be infected, it is most commonly transmitted by the inhalation of infectious droplets. The pathogens can often be detected within the sputum of the patient.

Rheumatoid Factor is an auto-antibody, an antibody against the organism’s own tissue and immunoglobulin. The patient’s immune system mistakenly builds up white antibodies against the body’s own substances. Rheumatoid factor levels that are too high can be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus ertheymatosus, as well as other diseases.

The hormone thyrotropin is a glycoprotein produced in the basophilic cells of the anterior pituitary. It stimulates gorwth, iodine uptake and the thyroid hormone production. The detection of TSH serves as a tool for the diagnosis of thyroid or pituitary gland dysfunctions. TSH levels are tested for patients suspected of having hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Increased levels of TSH generally indicate an underactive thyroid and a low TSH levels are a reliable marker for hyperthyroidism. Rarely, elevated levels of TSH can also indicate a dysfunction of the pituitary gland, such as a TSH producing tumour. This is called a secondary hyperthyroidism.