Less is more… in infectious diseases

Internist (Berl). 2021 Feb 12. doi: 10.1007/s00108-021-00967-5. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: The increasing development of antimicrobial resistance has been identified as one of the greatest threats to public health and is caused to a relevant extent by falsely indicated antibiotic treatment.

OBJECTIVE: The main aim of this article is to identify areas in infectious disease diagnostics and treatment where overuse occurs and to provide recommendations on how to avoid it.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The authors identified current and relevant studies on the topic of medical overuse in infectious diseases via a literature search. In particular, contributions from international "less is more" initiatives were included. The focus was on areas in which a reduction of diagnostic and therapeutic measures leads to an optimization of patient outcomes.

RESULTS: In many cases overuse in the context of diagnostics and treatment of infectious diseases not only leads to an unnecessary financial burden on the healthcare system and is not beneficial but can also increase the risk of development of antimicrobial resistance and have adverse consequences for patients.

CONCLUSION: Correct indications as well as focused selection and adequate application of antimicrobial agents is crucial to provide the best possible medical care. Diagnostic and antibiotic stewardship measures, which should be implemented in collaboration with infectious disease specialists, can help to identify and reduce areas of overuse and misuse.

PMID:33580310 | DOI:10.1007/s00108-021-00967-5