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Syndromic Testing

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week

Reduce the risk of antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobials are essential for modern medicine. Diseases that were once deadly are now treatable. But the overuse or misuse of antimicrobials can lead to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Experts predict that by 2050, deaths due to antimicrobial resistant infections will surpass those of cancer (1). 

Improved diagnostic accuracy can help us fight this ongoing threat. With a precise diagnosis, the right antimicrobials can be started and unnecessary antibiotics can be stopped faster, reducing the chances of resistance developing. Join us this World Antimicrobial Awareness Week to help spread awareness and take control in the fight against AMR.

Resistant bacteria are harder to treat and increase morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs. Antimicrobial resistance is annually associated with 2.8 million infections and 35,000 deaths in the USA (2) and EUR €1.5 billion in extra healthcare costs and productivity losses in the EU (3). Antimicrobial resistance poses the threat of a “post-antibiotic era” where antimicrobials will no longer be effective against infections caused by resistant pathogens.

Factors driving resistance

1 out of every 3 antibiotics prescribed is unnecessary (4). Antimicrobials may also be suboptimal in their selection, dose, duration and/or route of administration. Antimicrobial overuse and misuse can drive the development of antimicrobial resistance (5 ). 
antibiotic, antibiotic resistance, AMR, antimicrobial resistance, macrolide, QIAstat-Dx, syndromic testing, Streptococcus pneumoniae
In this example, increased macrolide antibiotic use was associated with increased macrolide resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae across U.S. states. Line shows unweighted linear best fit. Adapted from (5).
Diagnostic stewardship and antimicrobial stewardship are important tools in our fight against antimicrobial resistance (6). With them, we can maximize patient outcomes while minimizing the risk of antimicrobial resistance.

Antimicrobial stewardship involves a few key actions:

  • Identifying the causative pathogen(s) and using a targeted therapeutic approach
  • Selecting the most appropriate antimicrobial, dose, duration and route of administration for a given infection
  • Discontinuing unnecessary antimicrobials, such as antibiotics for viral infections or asymptomatic bacteriuria
Multiplex PCR panel testing supports antimicrobial stewardship

Rapid diagnostic tests, including multiplex PCR, enable quick and definitive pathogen identification, and are recommended in the U.S. National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (7). 

Multiplex PCR panel testing has been shown to support antimicrobial stewardship efforts by (8–12)*:

  • Improving appropriate antiviral treatment and reducing unnecessary antibiotic use (8, 11, 12) 
  • Reducing antibiotic treatment duration and ancillary testing (9–12) 
  • Providing rapid results to support clinical decision making (8, 11)

Syndromic testing can identify multiple pathogens in one sample, allowing clinicians to provide efficient and timely patient-centered care by reducing diagnostic uncertainty. To reduce the risk of antibiotic resistance, we need to work together to improve antibiotic usage. Let us support your antimicrobial stewardship efforts with syndromic testing. 

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* Unless otherwise stated, data cited pertains to the use of a device from another manufacturer.
  1. WHO. New report calls for urgent action to avert antimicrobial resistance crisis. https://www.who.int/news/item/29-04-2019-new-report-calls-for-urgent-action-to-avert-antimicrobial-resistance-crisis (Accessed June 16, 2022)
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Antibiotic / Antimicrobial Resistance (AR / AMR) https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/about.html
  3. Wellcome Trust (2016) Four Diagnostic Strategies for Better-Targeted Antibiotic Use. London: Wellcome Trust. https://wellcome.org/sites/default/files/diagnostic-strategies-for-better-targeted-antibiotic-use-wellcome-jul15.pdf   
  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Antibiotic Prescribing and Use https://www.cdc.gov/antibiotic-use 
  5. Olesen, S.W., et al. (2018) The distribution of antibiotic use and its association with antibiotic resistance. eLife, 7:e39435
  6. Messacar, K., Parker, S.K., Todd, J.K. and Dominguez, S.R. (2017) Implementation of rapid molecular infectious disease diagnostics: the role of diagnostic and antimicrobial stewardship.  J Clin Microbio, 55, 715-723
  7. U.S. National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (National Action Plan) https://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/us-activities/national-action-plan.html 
  8. McCulloh, R.J. Andrea, S., Reinert, S. and Chapin, K. (2014) Potential Utility of Multiplex Amplification Respiratory Viral Panel Testing in the Management of Acute Respiratory Infection in Children: A Retrospective Analysis. J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc, 3, 146-53 
  9. Lowe, C.F., et al. (2017) Antimicrobial stewardship for hospitalized patients with viral respiratory tract infections. Am J Infect Control, 45, 872-875 
  10. Rappo, U. (2016) Impact of early detection of respiratory viruses by multiplex PCR assay on clinical outcomes in adult patients. J Clin Microbiol, 54, 2096-2103 
  11. Blaschke, A.J. (2013) A national study of the impact of rapid influenza testing on clinical care in the emergency department. J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc, 3, 112-118
  12. Hansen, L.H., et al. (2022) Acta Paediatr. doi: 10.1111/apa.16508. Epub ahead of print
    • Study performed using the QIAstat-Dx Respiratory SARS-CoV-2 Panel (Cat. No. 691214)