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Expanded Access to Innovative Diagnostic Tools Will be Critical to Combating AMR, Authors Write

A paper published Thursday in Clinical Infectious Diseases examines how barriers to appropriate diagnostic tools led to missed opportunities to curb antibiotic resistance and recommends steps to develop and expand the use of tests that can identify resistant bacteria.

While the use of appropriate diagnostic testing can help health care providers select the most effective treatments for a given condition, tests that can identify resistant pathogens often are not used because studies highlighting patient outcomes and cost effectiveness of tests are lacking, the authors write. They recommend tools and training that encourage providers to use diagnostic tests to guide treatment rather than empiric use of antibiotics. In addition, they write, in the absence of a lucrative commercial market for innovative diagnostic tools, federal funding should be committed to develop new tests.

The recommendations in the article support the diagnostics goals of the recently released 2020-25 National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.

The paper, Diagnostic Tests Can Stem the Threat of Antimicrobial Resistance: Infectious Disease Professionals Can Help, was authored by Dana Trevas; Angela M. Caliendo, M.D., Ph.D.; Kimberly Hanson, M.D., MHS; Jaclyn Levy, M.S.; and Christine C. Ginocchio, Ph.D., MT; with coordination from the Infectious Diseases Society of America and support from the American Clinical Laboratory Association. The corresponding author is Jaclyn Levy, Infectious Diseases Society of America, 4040 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22203 (

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