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Rapid diagnostics to reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions

In response to the alarmingly increasing antimicrobial resistance, governments and policy-makers have launched strategies1,2,3 and antimicrobial stewardship initiatives to fight this global health concern. Rapid diagnostics have been highlighted as a tool to reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescribing. 

  • The World Health Organization’s draft global action plan on antimicrobial resistance sets forth the need for rapid diagnostics to guide optimal use of antibiotics.1
  • The US White House national strategy to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria encourages, among other things, development and use of rapid point-of-care diagnostics to distinguish between bacterial and viral infections.2
  • The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance commissioned by the UK Prime Minister published its most recent report 3 “Rapid Diagnostics: Stopping Unnecessary Use of Antibiotics” on 23 October 2015. The report emphasises that the use of already existing diagnostic tests such as tests for C-reactive protein (CRP) and Strep A can reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescribing.

Studies have shown that a rapid point-of-care test for measuring CRP can decrease the number of antibiotics prescribed for respiratory tract infections.4 These infections are the most frequent reason people seek medical attention and are responsible for the highest number of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions in primary healthcare.

Antibiotic use also contributes to conditions such as antibiotic-associated Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). Studies from both Europe and the USA show that there is a marked increase in CDI incidence5,6 which results in a significant clinical and economic burden on the healthcare system. 

Orion Diagnostica’s QuikRead go® CRP and QuikRead go® Strep A tests as well as the Orion GenRead® C. difficile test provide healthcare professionals with easy-to-use tools supporting timely diagnosis as well as optimal treatment and patient care.

Read more about our diagnostic tools *)



  1. World Health Organization. Global action plan on antimicrobial resistance (2015)
  2. White House. National strategy for combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria (2015) 
  3. The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance. Rapid diagnostics: Stopping unnecessary use of antibiotics (2015) 
  4. Aabenhus R et al. Biomarkers as point-of-care tests to guide prescription of antibiotics in patients with acute respiratory infections in primary care. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2014 Nov 6;11:CD010130
  5. Davies KA. Underdiagnosis of Clostridium difficile across Europe: the European, multicenter, prospective, biannual, point-prevalence study of Clostridium difficile infection in hopsitalised patients with diarrhea (EUCLID). Lancet Infect Dis 2014;14:1208-19.
  6. Lessa FC et al. Burden of Clostridium difficile infection in the United States. N Engl J Med 20151;372(24):2369-70

*) Products not available in the USA