Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Antimicrobial stewardship and molecular diagnostics: a symbiotic approach to combating resistance in the ED and ICU.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: This review aims to evaluate the incorporation of rapid molecular diagnostics (RMD) in antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) in the management of patients in the emergency department (ED) and intensive care unit (ICU), highlighting a shift from conventional microbiological diagnostic tests to RMD strategies to optimize antimicrobial use and improve patient outcomes.

RECENT FINDINGS: Recent advances in RMD have demonstrated the superior accuracy of RMD in identifying pathogens, combined with shorter turnaround times. RMD allows speeding up of antimicrobial decision making in the ED and facilitates faster escalation when empirical therapy was inappropriate, as well as more efficient de-escalation of empirical therapy later in the course of the treatment. Implementation of RMD however may be challenging.

SUMMARY: RMD hold great value in simplifying patient management and mitigating antimicrobial exposure, particularly in settings with high levels of antimicrobial resistance where the use of broad-spectrum antimicrobials is high. While the impact on the use of antimicrobials is significant, the impact on patient outcomes is not yet clear. Successful integration of RMD in clinical decision making in the ED and ICU requires a team approach and continued education, and its use should be adapted to the local epidemiology and infrastructure.

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