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Almost 80% of antibiotics are prescribed in primary care, and rates of antimicrobial prescribing are directly linked to rates of antimicrobial resistance. 

In line with the international effort to improve antimicrobial stewardship, it is therefore key to focus the search for new diagnostic technologies on those which have applicability to primary care settings, and to generate the appropriate evidence to support commissioning of these POC tests across healthcare regions and into a wide range of community settings.

New diagnostics should not be introduced into routine care pathways unless they have been shown to impact favourably on patient outcomes and be cost-effective. This theme will aim to generate evidence for the clinical validity, clinical utility, cost-effectiveness and care pathway benefits of IVDs with the potential to reduce inappropriate antimicrobial prescribing or improve targeted narrow-spectrum prescribing in community settings. It will also aim to understand the barriers to implementation of new diagnostics for antimicrobial stewardship in routine practice.

Theme lead:

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Research news:

Determining the clinical course in patients with viral or bacterial infection for acute cough

Are there differences in symptoms between viral and bacterial respiratory tract infections that doctors could use to distinguish between the two types of infection and thus reduce antibiotic over prescribing?