CRP POC testing decreases antibiotic overprescribing for lower respiratory tract infections
The European Expert Panel consisting of physicians with expertise in primary care evaluation of lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs), has published a report on the current role of C-reactive protein (CRP) point of care (POC) testing in antibiotic prescribing and management of LRTIs.
The Expert Panel emphasized that CRP POC testing is a cornerstone in decreasing antibiotic overprescribing for LRTIs and overcoming the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The best outcomes in antibiotic reduction are achieved when CRP POC testing is combined with other strategies that reduce antibiotic prescribing, such as communication tools and molecular diagnostics.
Improvements in the reimbursement structures and local guidelines would benefit the implementation of CRP POC testing
CRP POC testing is routinely used already in many countries, for example in the Netherlands and Norway, but as pointed out by the panel, current reimbursement structures and guidelines are major barriers for increased adoption of CRP POC testing in some countries. Without proper reimbursement, physicians are not incentivized and engaged to CRP POC use. Also, local guidelines have the strongest influence on both physician and patient behavior, but local guidelines tend to vary substantially between the countries.
The Expert Panel gave several suggestions how to develop the implementation of CRP POC testing in everyday practices but highlighted that the improvements in the reimbursement structures of different countries and standardizing the local guideline recommendations for CRP POC use in the management of LRTI’s are important steps to increase the use of CRP POC testing.
Aidian's QuikRead go® CRP POC tests are already used in several European countries, but more work is needed to get CRP POC testing adopted especially in countries where antibiotic prescribing levels for respiratory infections are high.
The whole report of the European Expert Panel can be found here: https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics13020320
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- Gentile I et al. The role of CRP POC testing in the fight against antibiotic overuse in European primary care: recommendations from a European Expert Panel. Diagnostics 2023; 13:320. https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics13020320