Story of molecular diagnosisStory of Respiratory
Disease Diagnosis

Does coughing mean I’ve caught a cold?

Similar symptoms are not necessarily caused by
the same disease.

Coughing, fever, and body aches can be symptoms of
a common cold, but not always. Because many respiratory
illnesses display similar symptoms, it can be difficult to tell the
difference between them based on symptoms alone.
Therefore, it is important to know exactly what’s causing the symptoms
to prescribe appropriate treatments.

Respiratory diseases including bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis, pneumonia, and pertussis usually start with cold-like symptoms, coughing and/or fever.
Thus, respiratory diseases are often misdiagnosed as a common cold until it is exacerbated.

What kind of viruses or bacteria cause respiratory diseases?

There are many different viruses and bacteria that cause respiratory illnesses with similar symptoms: influenza virus causes flu, rhinovirus - asthma, coronavirus - SARS, mycoplasma pneumoniae - pneumonia with flu-like symptoms, and bordetella pertussis - whooping cough with persistent coughing.

Why should I get tested to differentiate bacterial from viral infections?

Different respiratory illnesses require different treatments (cough medicine or antihistamines) depending on the pathogen. You should take antivirus medicine for severe fever caused by influenza virus, but antibiotics for bacterial pneumonia in order to relieve the symptoms and shorten the treatment period. Furthermore, a cold is very common among children, but in some cases, extra care is required as it might get worse and can turn into pneumonia, or worse asthma. Pneumonia has the same early symptoms as that of a cold, so proper diagnosis is essential for early treatment.

Could I be infected with multiple pathogens?

Yes, it is possible. You can be infected with multiple viruses and bacteria simultaneously. Many studies have demonstrated high rate of multiple viral infections for bronchitis, while pneumonia has an even higher rate of multiple viral or bacterial infections. It has also been reported that patients with multiple infections are hospitalized for a longer period of time than single infections, thus, it is important to find out what types of viruses or bacteria caused your respiratory conditions.

Is Molecular Diagnostic testing necessary to screen for respiratory diseases? Respiratory diseases can be classified into causative viruses or bacteria. Although the symptoms of bacterial and viral infections may be similar, the treatments are very different, so accurate diagnosis using molecular diagnostics is essential.

Most respiratory infections share similar symptoms. Thus, for more effective
treatment, you should make the most value out of lab tests along with clinically
visible symptoms.
With molecular diagnostics, you can quickly identify the pathogens, and
their drug resistance, which can help to prescribe the most effective
medicine and treatment methods, as well as preventing antibiotic misuse.

Accurate test results of molecular diagnostics especially helpful for treating
children, the elderly, and patients with serious respiratory conditions.
Seegene’s cutting-edge technologies makes it possible to identify numerous
pathogens in a single test, with reliable and accurate results. Seegene also
provides effective guidelines to view test results and prescribe medicine
within a day.
More and more large hospitals and university hospitals are adopting one-day
molecular diagnostics for patients with serious respiratory conditions.

What is the most effective way to diagnose the Respiratory diseases?

Respiratory diseases share common symptoms and are caused by various types of viruses and bacteria that are difficult to identify. In these cases, molecular diagnostics are very useful since pathogens DNA or RNA is directly detected to pinpoint as the causative source. PCR tests using genetic materials to detect diseases, is fast and accurate method, even being used to confirm the symptom-based diagnosis.

* Real-time PCR
This technology shortens the test time and improves accuracy, utilizing the conventional PCR principles.
Chonbuk National University Hospital, Poster Presentation, 2012

1. M. Honkinen, et al., Viruses and bacteria in sputum samples of children with community-acquired pneumonia. Clin Microbiol Infect, 2012; 18, 300–307.
2. Jaehyeon Lee, et al., Evaluation of a multiplex PCR Kit for the detection of respiratory viral and bacterial pathogens in patients with acute respiratory infections. Chonbuk National University Hospital, Poster Presentation, Figure 2, 2012

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