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Editor's Correspondence
Sep 12, 2011

Containing Antibiotic Resistance While Treating Community-Acquired Pneumonia

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Adult Critical Care (Dr Wise) and NPHS Microbiology (Dr Howe), University Hospital of Wales, and Department of Primary Care and Public Health, School of Medicine Cardiff University (Dr Butler), Cardiff, Wales.

Arch Intern Med. 2011;171(16):1510. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.382

Sordé and colleagues recently described the performance of a point-of-care pneumococcal urinary antigen test in an observational study of patients admitted to hospital with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP).1 The urinary antigen test was exclusively used to detect 43.8% of pneumococcal pneumonias or 15.8% of all patients with CAP, and this investigation therefore provides an important advance in the rapid diagnosis and treatment of hospitalized patients. The authors suggest that pathogen identification can improve patient treatment by allowing clinicians to safely narrow the spectrum of antibiotics, thereby reducing cost, adverse effects, and bacterial resistance. Resistance is increasingly important issue, given that there are few new antibiotics entering the clinical arena. Yu2 reinforces the idea in the accompanying Commentary that point-of-care can help by enabling the use of narrow-spectrum antibiotics at an earlier stage.

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