BSAC Vanguard Series: Antimicrobial resistance and the future of diagnostic testing.
Hayward G., Turner P.
In the UK around 80% of all antibiotics are prescribed by GP surgeries and in other community settings. Diagnostic technology has the potential to enable transformative change to antimicrobial stewardship in these settings. Current diagnostics are limited in terms of the information they can provide prescribers and the speed they can provide it. We need to develop diagnostics that are cheap enough for mass application, rapid enough to change prescribing decisions and able to detect bacteria which are causing disease rather than simply resident in the host. To be successful in creating change these diagnostics need to be appropriately funded and embedded in practice in ways which encourage change in prescribing behaviours. Collaboration between academia and industry is key in developing tests which are fit for purpose, well evidenced and appropriately funded in these settings.