In a survey of 218 hospital staff conducted this month, nine out of ten hospital infection control and laboratory personnel across the nation cite inappropriate use or misuse of broad-spectrum agents and the need for swift determination of the infecting organism as susceptible or resistant as top concerns. MicroPhage Inc, Longmont, Colo, which develops bdiagnostic tests for accelerated bacterial identification and antibiotic susceptibility, commissioned the survey.

Hospital personnel are especially concerned about these issues in treatment of S. aureus bloodstream infections (SABSI), for which the mortality rate is 23% to 36%. SABSI allows only a small window of time to administer optimal antibiotic therapy to prevent a possible deterioration to sepsis. The vast majority (87%) agree that SABSI’s are among the top concerns at their institutions.

Nearly all respondents (97%) say that knowing the antibiotic susceptibility of the infecting organism in treating SABSI’s is extremely or very important and 96% cite the importance of determining if the infecting organism is methicillin-susceptible (MSSA) as well as methicillin-resistant (MRSA). In addition, 91% cite the need to optimize therapy away from broad spectrum agents such as vancomycin when treating S. aureus infections.

Most (96%) agree that information regarding antibiotic susceptibility needs to be made available to clinicians more quickly than typically happens in current practice. Nine out of ten (90%) say that optimizing patient therapy before final microbiology results are available is extremely or very important in treating SABSI’s. These results typically require three days of test workup. Most feel that availability of antibiotic susceptibility results on the first day of disease could impact cure rates (84% agree) and shorten patient hospital stays (87% agree).

“The survey results reflect what infection control staff know: That the sooner we can distinguish MSSA from MRSA, the sooner we can put the patient on optimal antibiotic therapy and the better it is for the patient,” stated Dr. Jack Brown, Assistant Professor of Pharmacy, Medicine and Public Health at The State University of New York at Buffalo. “Use of innovative products like KeyPath that provide earlier susceptibility results have the potential to save lives.

[source: MicroPhage]