The Impact of Molecular Testing for Pathogens of Community-Acquired Pneumonia on Antibiotic Utilization.

The Impact of Molecular Testing for Pathogens of Community-Acquired Pneumonia on Antibiotic Utilization.

S D Med. 2019 Feb;72(2):63-66

Authors: Rezkalla J, Hoover SE, Hsu J, Lamfers R

Abstract
Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a common and costly problem in U.S. healthcare. A major challenge in development of targeted treatment strategies has been limitations in diagnostic testing to confirm specific pathogens, including viruses. The recent and widespread use of multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR) to identify pathogens has created an opportunity to improve diagnostic testing and subsequent antibiotic stewardship. We performed a retrospective cohort study examining 233 inpatients with pneumonia of which 70 patients underwent testing with mPCR. A specific pathogen was identified by mPCR in 24 percent of these patients and there was a statistically significant decrease in antibiotic use between patients who tested negative (average 8.3 days of antibiotics) versus patients who tested positive (average 4.9 days of antibiotics). This highlights the potential utility of mPCR implementation as an antibiotic stewardship strategy.

PMID: 30855733 [PubMed - in process]