Advice on health categories
In general, research involving infection by a pathogenic agent should only be coded as Infection and not coded to the affected target site in the body.
This is in line with the coding guidance on assigning health categories to base coding on the main disease – not pathogenesis or site of action.
In circumstances where the research is focused only on a downstream consequence of the infection it may be coded to the appropriate Health Category.
Advice on research activities
If the studies involve investigating infectious agents which cause disease they should not be coded in the 1 Underpinning code group.
If the aim of the research is to study the transmission, life cycle or biochemistry of the agent it should be coded as 2.2 Physical risks. If the research involves studying host responses to infection it should be coded 2.1 Endogenous risks. Studies of resistance to therapeutics, including the characterisation of antibiotic resistance genes and mechanisms in bacteria, should be coded 5.1 Pharmaceuticals.
Studies on bacteria or yeast can fall into 1 Underpinning if they are being studied as model systems examining conserved genes or proteins e.g. DNA repair, cell cycle.