The importance of diagnostics in infectious diseases management

Elevating the lab to meet the rising burden of infectious diseases

Infectious diseases are becoming increasingly difficult to manage. While much healthcare effort is devoted to preventing the spread of disease and associated treatments, less attention is paid to the impact these infections have on the broader healthcare landscape, particularly on laboratories.

It is critically important that laboratories are equipped to handle sudden surges in demand in worst-case scenarios, such as pandemics. However, gaining support for investments in preventative measures has been a historic challenge. Appropriately, the broad socioeconomic impact of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic sparked the need for a change in preparedness and investment mindset.

The availability of flexible molecular systems and serology solutions, a broad menu of high-quality IVD and open channel assays, a reliable global supply chain, and expert support can position laboratories for success in addressing current and future infectious disease management, while enabling the scalability to react in an outbreak situation.

Dedicated to infectious diseases
Respiratory Tract Infection

Respiratory tract infections

  • Ranging from widely recognised pathogens, like SARS-CoV-2 and influenza to undertreated infections, like tuberculosis—which caused 1.5 million deaths in 2018—respiratory tract infections are among the leading global causes of death and disability worldwide1
  • Early, accurate pathogen identification—from laboratories to emergency care and point-of-care settings—is crucial to informing effective infection control
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Sexually transmitted diseases

Sexually transmitted infections

  • Curable infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are estimated to affect more than 376 million people annually, while conditions like HIV face new management challenges with the potential overreliance on and limited adherence to pre-exposure treatments2,3
  • Most infected individuals have few or no symptoms, making diagnostic testing critical to detect STIs and inform appropriate patient management4
viral hepatitis infection impacting the liver

Viral hepatitis

  • Liver inflammation due to a viral agent is a major health challenge. More than 300 million people are infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) or the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and 9 out of 10 people living with viral hepatitis are unaware5
  • Chronic liver inflammation can often lead to liver fibrosis, hepatocellular carcinoma and eventually to liver decompensation and death. Access to high-quality testing and treatment monitoring are important for managing the burden of this disease6
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Congenital infections

Congenital infections

  • During pregnancy, several pathogens can be vertically transmitted to a fetus or newborn which are linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes or consequences to the child7
  • The newborn period is often the only point at which laboratory testing and follow-up allow confirmation of a congenital infection8
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Transfusion transmitted infections

Transfusion-transmitted infections

  • Blood and plasma donations are a selfless and life-saving gift, coming from over 118.5 million donations globally each year9
  • The consistent evolution of pathogens makes continuous redefining of testing standards critical to maintaining a safe blood supply10
transplant transmitted infection impacting the kidney

Transplant transmitted infections

  • An estimated 139,024 solid organ transplants are performed every year worldwide, as they are often the only treatment option for certain diseases or conditions11
  • Reliable testing that can be performed pre-or post-transplantation plays a key role in supporting patient safety and outcome
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Vector Borne Diseases

Vector-borne disease

  • Vector-borne diseases are caused by parasites, viruses and bacteria that are transmitted by vectors. They account for more than 17% of all infectious diseases and cause over 700K deaths annually12
  • Testing for new and known vector-borne diseases is critical for informing appropriate management for individuals exposed to or infected by these pathogens
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Healthcare associated infections

Healthcare associated infections (HAI)

  • 7-10% of hospitalised patients in developing countries acquire HAIs, and it is the most frequent adverse event in health-care settings worldwide13
  • Molecular and serological diagnostic solutions are becoming critically important for the testing of hospital-acquired infections, particularly in the battle against antibiotic-resistant agents
Antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial resistance

  • Every year, approximately 700,000 people die globally of antimicrobial resistant infections—these types of infections are predicted to be a leading cause of death by 205014
  • Diagnostics play a critical role in antimicrobial stewardship efforts and support the timely identification of drug-resistant pathogens, which is essential for effective infection control and for reducing the development of resistant pathogens15
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Gastrointestinal infections

Gastrointestinal (GI) Infections

  • Gastrointestinal (GI) Infections cause a significant infectious disease burden worldwide. It is important to understand the cause and its prevalence.


Our innovative medicines and diagnostic tests are only meaningful if they reach the people who need them when they need them – no matter where they live.


Severin Schwan
CEO of Roche Group

Innovative solutions to address the global burden of disease

Across the infectious disease landscape, Roche is committed to meeting the needs of patients, developing best-in-class diagnostic solutions to help laboratories effectively support the needs of their customers and communities.

Roche’s portfolio of solutions spans the entire patient journey, enabling laboratories of all sizes and disciplines to provide reliable results across key clinical areas.

Explore our consolidated assay menu

Male technician wearing a lab coat in the laboratory
female technician working in a laboratory
  • Deliver more results faster with fully automated molecular diagnostic systems, available in a range of testing volumes
  • Differentiate assay offerings with a flexible portfolio of lab developed testing (LDT) solutions
  • Personalise and standardise serology testing with integrated and modular clinical chemistry and immunochemistry analysers
  • Maximise testing flexibility and confidence with PCR testing at the point of care, ideal for ideal for emergency care settings, satellite locations, and out-of-hours testing
  • Increase laboratory value across the organisation with advanced digital capabilities that provide actionable insights that elevate efficiency

Expertly designed assays


Clinically validated Roche assays had comprehensive studies conducted during development and with external clinical sites. In urgent outbreak scenarios, Roche accelerates assay development, most recently developing the first commercially available high-throughput test for SARS-CoV-2, and the first Emergency Use Authorisation SARS-CoV-2 & Influenza A/B test.

Decades of experience in setting the standard for infectious disease testing makes Roche the partner of choice for clinical trials around the world. Some Roche assays have even been trusted to define treatment cut-offs for some of the world’s most burdensome diseases.17

Assay Samples In Laboratory
Laboratory instruments on a conveyor belt

A solid global supply chain for confidence in meeting demand

Explore our established infrastructure and efficient logistics that ensure our partners around the world have access to essential machines, reagents and consumables to support local needs.


Bringing unrivalled healthcare expertise to our customers

Meet our global team of experts that are prepared to support labs in whatever they need—from recognising opportunities to integrate data, resources, and people, to delivering the best possible care at every touch point.

Customer insights from laboratories around the world

As the impact of infectious disease grows, so does Roche’s commitment to solving these unmet needs.

Backed by a proven history of innovation and a vast pipeline of solutions, Roche is enabling laboratories across the globe to better manage this growing challenge with purpose-built products and programs.


  1. World Health Organization. Tuberculosis. Accessed August 17, 2020.
  2. World Health Organization. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Accessed August 17, 2020.
  3. Elliott T, Sanders EJ, Doherty M, et al. Challenges of HIV diagnosis and management in the context of pre‐exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), post‐exposure prophylaxis (PEP), test and start and acute HIV infection: a scoping review. J Int AIDS Soc. 2019;22:e25419.
  4. Peeling RW. Applying new technologies for diagnosing sexually transmitted infections in resource-poor settings. Sex Transm Infect. 2011;87(Suppl 2):ii28-ii30. doi:10.1136/sti.2010.047647
  5. Easterbrook PJ, Roberts T, Sands A, Peeling R. Diagnosis of viral hepatitis. Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2017;12(3):302-314. doi:10.1097/COH.0000000000000370
  6. Arora N, Sadovsky Y, Dermody TS, Coyne CB. Microbial Vertical Transmission during Human Pregnancy. Cell Host Microbe. 2017;21(5):561-567. doi:10.1016/j.chom.2017.04.007
  7. Ford-Jones EL. An approach to the diagnosis of congenital infections. Paediatr Child Health. 1999;4(2):109-112. doi:10.1093/pch/4.2.109
  8. World Health Organization. Blood safety and availability. Accessed August 17, 2020.
  9. Dean CL, Wade J, Roback JD. Transfusion-Transmitted Infections: an Update on Product Screening, Diagnostic Techniques, and the Path Ahead. J Clin Microbiol. 2018;56(7):e00352-18. doi:10.1128/JCM.00352-18
  10. Global Observatory on Donation and Transplantation. Accessed September 9, 2020.
  11. World Health Organization. Vector-borne diseases. Accessed August 17, 2020.
  12. World Health Organization. Health care-associated infections Fact Sheet. Accessed August 17, 2020.
  13. World Health Organization. New report calls for urgent action to avert antimicrobial resistance crisis. Accessed August 17, 2020.
  14. Doron S, Davidson LE. Antimicrobial stewardship. Mayo Clin Proc. 2011;86(11):1113-1123. doi:10.4065/mcp.2011.0358
  15. Elecysy® Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Assay Product Information.
  16. Cloherty G, Chevaliez S, Sarrazin C, et al. Hepatitis C RNA assay differences in results: Potential implications for shortened therapy and determination of Sustained Virologic Response. Sci Rep. 2016;6:35410. doi: 10.1038/srep35410