Image courtesy of Shutterstock
Researchers from the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit in Vietnam have shown that using a rapid (5-minute) test can reduce antibiotic misuse for respiratory infections. Cutting the number of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions is a key way to prevent the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections.
The rapid tests detect C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of infections caused by bacteria, in patients' blood. A low level of CRP is suggestive of viral infection and therefore antibiotic treatment is not required.