The Meyer Childrens Hospital supports the research of Doctor Chiara Azzari and her team.  Doctor Azzari is head of department at the Meyer Hospital and Professor at the University of Florence Medical School.  She and her team have, developed, invented and patented a diagnostic procedure to detect congenital immune deficiency and other infective diseases.  All the proceeds from this art show and from all the other initiatives which will be organized, will go to help children in Tuscany, in Naorobi, Kenya and in other parts of the world.

Meyer Medical Team  - Dr. Chiara Azzari

The discovery
Primary immunodeficiencies (PID) are very severe diseases. Among them are ADA (adenosine deaminase deficiency) and PNP (purine nucleoside phosphorilase deficiency), which are at least 20% of all immunodeficiencies.  
All PID can be fatal if diagnosis is not made early.  
A child with primary immunodeficiency is usually diagnosed because of a very severe infection like meningitis or encephalitis. At that time, when diagnosis is made, permanent damages due to the severe infection can already be present.
Curative therapies, like bone marrow transplantation or gene therapy, are available but to be effective the therapies need to be performed in the first months of life to be effective.

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The discovery
Severe infections like meningitis and pneumonia are called invasive infections. They kill millions of children in the world every year, especially in the low-income countries.
Diagnosis of infectious disease is important to start the correct antibiotic therapy for the sick child and to protect those who live with him or her.
The established method, based on microbiologic cultures, has poor sensitivity and it often takes several days before a diagnosis is obtained.

We developed a method that is not based on a bacterial culture, the method looks for the DNA in biological samples such as blood, cerebrospinal fluid or pleural fluid.
The method we developed has a sensitivity that is at least double that of old culture methods (and it is at least 7 times more sensitive in pneumonia). The cost is lower than that of culture and, above all, the diagnosis is obtained in less than 1 hour.

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