In many of the cases, viruses, not bacteria, cause Upper Respiratory Tract Infections that we commonly describe as cold or flu. Routinely prescribed antibiotics are only effective in killing bacteria.
Despite this compelling facts, total antibiotics consumption worldwide is at astoundingly ~70 billion standard units annually (CDDEP, 2015). It is estimated that 20 to 50% of total antibiotic use is inappropriate (Cizman, 2003) meaning that at best their use is unnecessary but may be harmful. Tremendous amounts of money and resources are wasted. Overuse of antibiotics leads to increase in drug-resistant bacteria and dramatically reduces the effectiveness of the therapies currently available. As a result, infections last much longer, more visits to the doctor or even hospital stay is sometimes required. In extreme cases, incurable infections lead to death.
Current diagnostics in the field relies heavily on empirical examination and if necessary a follow-up with lab tests. It is costly and takes up to a few days. To radically address the antibiotics crisis, disruptive technologies for rapid and effective diagnostics at point of care are required.
IMMUNAS, is at the core of the solution to this global problem. Unlike traditional procedures that take hours to days to complete, our cutting edge chip-based technology, within minutes, will be able to accurately determine whether the cause of infection is bacterial or viral. The diagnostic test will be performed with a drop of blood. Together with cost-effectiveness, ease-of-use, minimal invasiveness for the patient and immense potential impact on pressing public heath concerns we genuinely hope to enable smart and responsible use of antibiotics for benefits of patients and for societies at large.