A New Practice to Promote Antimicrobial Stewardship

Tess Maxfield


One of the most urgent and pressing global health issues is antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics are misused and overused both in agriculture and in human clinical settings. Combatting this issue begins with the crucial responsibility of physicians and other health professionals to prescribe the correct antibiotic therapy. Since resistance has become such an important issue, many hospitals have implemented antimicrobial stewardship programs to promote the optimal use of antibiotics. A key test that these programs rely on is antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) that identifies the pathogen and its susceptibility. The main issue with these tests is that they typically take over 24 hours to yield accurate results. This amount of time is not optimal for patients; in reality, many patients cannot and do not want to wait that long for a treatment. One recent study revealed a novel rapid susceptibility test by measuring bacterial surface areas through a cationic probe. The test takes only around five hours and could largely advance stewardship programs and the way antibiotics are prescribed.


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