Journal Article

Rapid Diagnostics and Appropriate Antibiotic Use

Louis B. Rice

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 52, issue suppl_4, pages S357-S360
Published in print May 2011 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online May 2011 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
Rapid Diagnostics and Appropriate Antibiotic Use

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Most antibiotics are prescribed by physicians lacking postgraduate training in infectious diseases. As such, prescribing physicians have varying levels of interest and sophistication in thinking about how to use molecular and microbiological data to inform therapeutic choices. Strategies designed to modify physician antimicrobial-prescribing practices must therefore choose simplicity over complexity and must acknowledge our fundamental ignorance of many of the specifics of antibiotic-microorganism interactions. They must also acknowledge the critical nature of bacterial illnesses in hospitalized patients and the importance of delivering effective antimicrobial therapy early in the illness. “Back-end” strategies that evaluate therapy at defined intervals will be more readily accepted than strategies limiting physician choices early in the illness. It is therefore critical that we develop rapid and reliable microbiological assays, evidence-based recommendations on appropriate durations of therapy, and accurate surrogate markers of infection resolution.

Journal Article.  2919 words. 

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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