Tuscany Italy adopts revolutionary PID testing

The event "Together for the Treatment of Children with Primary Immunodeficiencies (PI)", organized by the Meyer Pediatric Hospital with Kedrion’s full support, took place on June 6 at the Anna Meyer Pediatric Hospital in Florence, Italy. Experts from the Meyer Hospital, representatives of various institutions, associations and federations of Italian donors and the parents of children with immunodeficiencies attended the event.

The principal aim was to promote newborn screening for primary immunodeficiency disorders. This testing was pioneered in Tuscany at the Jeffrey Modell Center, the only JM pediatric center in Italy, located inside Meyer Hospital.

“Early testing is key because it allows doctors to recognize the problem before the primary immunodeficiency has manifested itself.  Frequent and serious infections, leading to chronic damage, can be avoided with early diagnosis and treatment.” stated Chiara Azzari, Director of Pediatric Immunology at the Meyer Hospital. “Thanks to the collaboration between multidisciplinary teams of researchers, Meyer Pediatric Hospital has developed and uses testing that is one of a kind in the world for the early diagnosis of primary immunodeficiencies (PID). Furthermore, all children born in Tuscany over the past three years have undergone such testing (30,000 children per year). Early detection enables us immediately to institute aggressive treatments that can maintain the child with primary immundeficiency in their optimum possible health

“In addition to antibiotic therapy, children with immune deficiencies are treated with human plasma derived therapies,” explained Massimo Resti, Director of Meyer’s Pediatric Clinic. "Without the invaluable gift of those who donate their blood {plasma} on a voluntary basis, there would be no possibility of replacement immunoglobulin therapy for these children.”

The tremendous social value offered to patients with immunodeficiencies and to their families should also be taken into account," concluded Kedrion Global Marketing Director, Ferdinando Borgese. “Today the healthcare system should, indeed must, increasingly make newborn screening for early diagnosis of immune deficiencies, and full access to care, available."