Diagnostic technologies for antimicrobial resistance

Annette Pluddemann

Annette Pluddemann Director: Diagnostic Horizon Scan Programme

Tackling antimicrobial resistance is an important global public health challenge.  The World Health Organisation has highlighted that antimicrobial resistance is threatening the effective prevention and treatment of an ever-increasing range of infections – already there are many bacteria that cause, urinary tract infections, pneumonia, sexually transmitted infections and bloodstream infections which are resistant to several antibiotics.  At the same time, very few new antibiotics are being developed. This worrying trend was highlighted by the Chief Medical Officer for England in 2011.

To address this problem, it will be important to develop strategies that help reduce the use of antibiotics and also make sure that antibiotics are only prescribed when they are appropriate. We recently compiled a report for the Department of Health to provide an overview of diagnostic technologies relevant to improving appropriate prescribing of antibiotics.  We identified nearly 70 technologies which could potentially be used either by GPs or in hospitals and some are already available while others are still in development.  Looking at all of these technologies and the current evidence, some important points emerged, including:

Overall however it was striking how many tests were available or in development, but there was not much progress in developing evidence that would help understand which of these technologies would be of most use and how they should be implemented to ultimately influence practice.

Read Full Report – AMR Diagnostic technologies_10 June 2015

Annette Pluddemann

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