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News From the Food and Drug Administration
April 4, 2017

Test Aids Antibiotic Decisions

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2017 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.

JAMA. 2017;317(13):1308. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.2685

An assay used to assess critically ill patients’ risk of developing severe sepsis or septic shock now will be available to help clinicians manage antibiotics for patients with lower respiratory tract infections or sepsis.

The FDA recently approved expanded use of the Vidas Brahms PCT Assay, which uses procalcitonin (PCT) as a biomarker to distinguish between bacterial and viral infections. High PCT levels suggest bacterial infection while low PCT levels indicate viral infection or a noninfectious cause of illness.