How to predict ESBL bloodstream infection?

Each day we prescribe antibiotics without knowing the specific cause of infection, yet. Some patients will have an infection caused by an ESBL-producing bug, and they would benefit from immediate treatment with a carbapenem or addition of an aminoglycoside. At the same time we don’t want to misuse carbapenems or hurt kidneys. Wouldn’t it be great if we could accurately predict who would need a carbapenem? Now you can. Continue reading

“Can I swab your rectum please?” ‘Pre-analytical’ factors skew prevalence studies

The analytical lab methods that we use to grow antibiotic-resistant bacteria make a big difference in terms of recovery. However, ‘pre-analytical’ factors are just as important in determining the sensitivity of prevalence studies. We are used to the idea of studies to work out the most sensitive anatomical site to sample for detecting colonisation with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. However, there are other ‘pre-analytical’ factors that may skew the findings of prevalence studies. A study from my old research group at KCL highlights how staff and patient choices, behaviours, and demographics can be pre-analytical factors that could skew prevalence studies.

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