Syndromic Multiplex Polymerase Chain Reaction (mPCR) Testing and Antimicrobial Stewardship: Current Practice and Future Directions

Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2021;23(4):5. doi: 10.1007/s11908-021-00748-z. Epub 2021 Feb 26.


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Syndromic multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR) panels offer the antimicrobial steward a rapid tool for optimizing and de-escalating antimicrobials. In this review, we analyze the role of syndromic mPCR in respiratory, gastrointestinal, and central nervous system infections within the context of antimicrobial stewardship efforts.

RECENT FINDINGS: For all mPCR syndromic panels, multiple studies analyzed the pre-and-post implementation impact of mPCR on antimicrobial utilization. Prospective studies and trials of respiratory mPCR stewardship interventions, including diagnostic algorithms, educational efforts, co-testing with procalcitonin, and targeted provider feedback currently exist. For gastrointestinal and cerebrospinal fluid mPCR, fewer peer-reviewed reports exist for the use of mPCR in antimicrobial stewardship. These studies demonstrated an inconsistent trend towards decreasing antibiotic use with mPCR. This is further limited by a lack of statistical significance, the absence of controlled, prospective trials, and issues with data generalizability.

SUMMARY: Antibiotic overuse may improve when mPCR is coupled with electronic medical record algorithm-based approaches and direct provider feedback by an antimicrobial stewardship professional. mPCR may prove a useful tool for antimicrobial stewardship but future studies are needed to define the best practice for its utilization.

PMID:33679252 | PMC:PMC7909367 | DOI:10.1007/s11908-021-00748-z