OpID: Opportunistic Infections mobile application for immunocompromised patients

Bioinformatics Internship Presentation

Mohammad Shahbaz Khan (Mentor: Dr. Krystyna Helena Szymczyk, Bioinformatics Scientist, NIAID (NIH))

April 29th, 2016, 2:00pm, Room 1202, Harris Building

Immune system of an organism is a system which protects its body from various pathogens. When immune system of an organism gets weaker then many pathogens can attack the body who cannot attack in a healthy immune system. When a patient gets affected from HIV/AIDS, Cancer or going through Organ transplant then his/her immune system gets weaker in comparison to a normal immune system. And there are risks that many pathogen can attack their body, these kind of infections are known as opportunistic infections because they cannot survive in normal immune system. Opportunistic infections take the advantage of weaker immune system. Opportunistic infections are most common factor behind the death of immunocompromised patients who suffer from HIV/AIDS. The infection can be fungal, bacterial or viral etc.

CD4 is a glycoprotein which are present on the surface of immune cells. These cells are commonly referred as CD4 cells or CD4 T-helper cells. One of the main function of these cells is sending the signals to other immune cells which kills the infectious pathogens. When the number of CD4 decreases in the body, our body becomes the target for various infectious pathogens. Many immunocompromised patients who are suffering from HIV/AIDS and cancer or recently gone through organ transplant affected from these infections.

Approximately 10 million people are immunocompromised only within the United States. And the rate at which they are getting affected by opportunistic infections is growing rapidly. One of the biggest reason behind this is they are not well aware with these infections. Different pathogens attack the body according to different level of CD4 count and the goal of this project is to develop a mobile application where a patient can check that whether he/she is at the risk of any opportunistic infections or not according to their CD4 count. If they are then what are the infections they are at risk of getting depending on their CD4 count. What will be the symptoms of those infections and how they can prevent themselves from those infections? Helping them in knowing what the basic treatments for infections