Lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) is one of the most common acute reasons for patients to seek medical assessment, accounting for 17 million consultations in the European Union and 11 million in the U.S. each year.1 Despite robust evidence highlighting little or no benefit from antibiotic treatment for most people presenting with respiratory tract infection (RTI) symptoms, these illnesses are still the commonest reason for antibiotic prescribing in primary care.2
- Cals, J.W., Butler, C.C., Hopstaken, R.M., Hood, K. and Dinant, G.J. (2009) Effect of point of care testing for C reactive protein and training in communication skills on antibiotic use in lower respiratory tract infections: cluster randomised trial. BMJ. 2009;338(51):1374. [Online] doi:10.1136/bmj.b1374
- Stanton, N., Francis, N.A. and Butler, C.C. (2010) Reducing uncertainty in managing respiratory tract infections in primary care. British Journal of General Practice.
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Slowing antibiotic resistance through rapid diagnostics
As microbes become more resilient to antibiotics, common diseases and infections are becoming harder to treat. Before long, operations like organ transplants and C-sections could be too risky to perform. What does that mean to the future of medicine?