New test aids in quicker treatment decisions for sepsis

A new test to determine whether antibiotics will be effective against certain bacterial infections is helping physicians make faster and better prescription treatment choices.

“Randomized Clinical Trial Evaluating Clinical Impact of RAPid Identification and Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing for Gram-Negative Bacteremia (RAPIDS-GN),” is the largest study to evaluate the clinical impact of rapid blood culture diagnostics in the management of patients with Gram-negative bacilli bloodstream infections.

The results demonstrate that providing rapid, accurate drug susceptibility information to physicians could improve the care of patients with sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition caused by the body’s response to an infection.

Ritu Banerjee, MD, PhD, associate professor of Pediatrics at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, and her colleagues sought a way to shorten the wait time until the appropriate medication could be started to treat the infection.

Conventional testing can take two to three days before the bacteria in the blood and its drug resistance are fully identified. Utilizing the rapid testing method gave medical teams final results in about 12 hours. 

“This was a very positive result. It was proof that faster actionable results led to timelier, targeted antibiotic therapy,” Banerjee said. “The hope is that this, in turn, leads to better patient outcomes, less unnecessary broad-spectrum antibiotic use, and less emergence of drug resistant organisms.”

The research was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number UM1AI104681. 

– by Jessica Pasley

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *