A 15-year partnership between the Jeffrey Modell Foundation and the Immunologische Tagesklinik (ITK) in Vienna has helped over 750 patients in Austria with primary immunodeficiency disorders (PID).
In many of those cases, precise immunological diagnosis and consequently targeted treatment by the ITK have alleviated years of suffering from serious infections.
Despite the partnerships work over the last 15 years, estimates suggest tens of thousands of people in Austria have still not received a precise diagnosis.
"International studies have shown that about 1% of the population is affected by PID," said professor Martha Eibl from the privately run outpatient immunology clinic in Vienna.
"That means there are 80,000 patients in Austria with PID, of whom only a few received an accurate diagnosis at the time they develop a severe illness. Numerous PIDs differ fundamentally from one another and precise diagnosis requires the link between clinical status and immunological laboratory findings."
Established in 1987, the Jeffrey Modell Foundation (JMF) supports sufferers of primary immunodeficiency disorders and their families. Based in New York, the non-profit organisation provides funding for research fellowships and laboratory equipment, as well as sponsoring numerous international training activities for physicians.
After 15 years, the ITK and JMF still have work to do. In addition to the estimated 80,000 undiagnosed affected in Austria, about 800 babies are born each year with PID. They will suffer numerous infections in the course of their lives before – hopefully – receiving the correct diagnosis.