Why Test For Respiratory Co-Infections?
Respiratory infections often present similar systems. Testing for respiratory co-infections will help ensure an accurate diagnosis and an effective treatment. Testing for respiratory co-infections is available at Express Health Urgent Care clinics located in East Harlem NYC, Metropolitan NYC and Staten Island NYC. For more information, contact us or book an appointment online.
Table of Contents:
What are respiratory co-infections?
Why test for respiratory co-infections?
What causes respiratory co-infections?
Why are tests for respiratory co-infections important?
From where can you get yourself checked for respiratory co-infections?
It is common for children to develop acute respiratory tract infections of a viral aetiology. Even though respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza viruses are the most common causes of winter infections, molecular amplification techniques have shown that a substantial percentage (20–40%) of cases are co-infections caused by more than one virus.
Antimicrobial management programs and patient care can be greatly improved with rapid diagnostic tests. For respiratory infections, it is especially important to confirm/exclude the presence of pathogens, whether they are bacteria or viruses, along with information about the presence or absence of genetic targets of resistance to modulate antibiotic treatment.
It is important to understand if co-infections are present in order to properly diagnose and treat the conditions. Many respiratory infections can be diagnosed and treated in similar fashions. Symptom relief is typically the primary goal of treatment for respiratory infections. In order to shorten or reduce the duration of symptoms, cough suppressants, expectorants, vitamins C, and zinc can be helpful. However, there are exceptions and for this reason, your provider needs to understand what infections are present particularly because they can display similar symptoms.
Viruses (or bacteria) enter your respiratory system and cause respiratory infections. It is possible to get sick by touching infected surfaces or shaking hands with sick people, particularly when you subsequently touch your mouth, nose, or eyes. Your body becomes infected with germs from your hands.
In order to cause respiratory illnesses, bacteria must colonize the nasopharyngeal space. It is through positive or negative associations that organisms achieve this colonization: positive associations occur through mutualism, symbiosis, or evading the immune system of the host; negative associations occur through ammensalism, predation, or the host immune system adversely affecting one organism over another. In general, viruses and bacteria use multiple mechanisms to invade and colonize the human body.
Viruses and bacteria interact with each other, so there are many known specific virus-bacteria relationships. Streptococcus pneumoniae and Staphylococcus aureus interact with influenza, for instance. In viral, secondary bacterial infections, the most common bacteria is S. pneumoniae.
As influenza is one of the most common viral causes of pneumonia, it also increases the risk of bacterial pneumonia caused by S. pneumoniae and S. aureus. Due to the mechanisms listed above, influenza has synergistic relationships with both bacteria. By activating hemagglutinin on the membrane, the bacteria enhance the infectivity of influenza by neutralizing antibodies and allowing more virions to replicate in the host.
It is important to test for respiratory co-infections to understand exactly what infections are at play. The COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, presented a virus with symptoms that are very similar to other respiratory infections, as a result, differential diagnosis is crucial. For this reason, the diagnostic algorithm for pneumonia begins with determining whether the infection is viral, in this case, SARS-CoV-2. It is also imperative to confirm or exclude the possibility of over-infections caused by bacteria and/or fungi during the diagnostic process.
Throughout the world, pneumonia is the most common cause of hospitalization and death. When respiratory infections occur, pathogens (bacteria and/or viruses) should be confirmed or eliminated as quickly as possible. The prognosis of the patient will be improved, and antimicrobials will be used more efficiently. COVID has taught us the importance of reasonable antibiotic use in preventing unnecessary antibiotic treatment and curbing antimicrobial resistance.
A variety of urgent care services are available at Express Health Urgent Care. Express Urgent Care can test patients for respiratory co-infections to confirm an accurate diagnosis and provide efficient treatment. For more information, contact us or book an appointment online. We serve patients from Brooklyn NYC, Queens NY, East Harlem NYC, Manhattan NY, Coney Island NYC, Midwood NY, Nostrand NYC, Ridgewood NY, Metropolitan NYC, Staten Island NYC. Greenwich Village NY, and surrounding areas.