‘An assay designed to distinguish between bacterial and viral infections of the lower respiratory tract appears effective and shows promise for helping hospital physicians reduce overprescribing of antibiotics to children, a study showed.’
‘ “It is often not possible to differentiate between bacterial and nonbacterial disease on the basis of clinical judgment alone, [so] antibiotics are prescribed almost twice as often as required in children with acute respiratory tract infections in the USA,” wrote Chantal B. van Houten of the University Medical Centre Utrecht (the Netherlands) and associates in a study published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases.
The patients all had fevers with unidentified sources when they presented, and had a follow-up assessment carried out 28 days after baseline. Blood samples and nasal swabs were collected within 24 hours of presentation for assay analysis. Additionally, every subject was diagnosed as “bacterial” or “viral” by a three-member panel of pediatricians, whose diagnoses were based on the data available from the follow-up assessment and from clinical and laboratory data. The panel diagnosis for each subject was used as the reference standard.’