The Value of Diagnostics in Combatting Antimicrobial Resistance – A Public Health Problem

By the bioMérieux Connection Editors  

Featured Expert: Dr. Tristan Timbook, PharmD, BCPS – Director of Health Economics and Outcomes Research – Global Medical Affairs at bioMérieux, and Adjunct Assistant Professor at University of Utah College of Pharmacy 

At this year’s World Anti-Microbial Resistance Congress, held in-person in Washington D.C., Dr. Tristan Timbrook delivered a keynote presentation about antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and how diagnostics can help balance empiric antibiotic therapy with antimicrobial stewardship objectives.  

We summarize Dr. Timbrook’s presentation below. 

“Stewardship Starts with Diagnostics” 

Diagnostic intervention early-on provides faster results and assists clinicians in initiating appropriate antimicrobial therapy sooner. As Dr. Timbrook notes, stewardship practices require that the pathogen is identified to ensure appropriate targeted therapy. Timbrook emphasizes that “stewardship starts with diagnostics,” at both the patient level and population level. 

AMR can be addressed at both the patient-level and the population-level through the strategic use of diagnostic tools such as procalcitonin (PCT) -guided therapy, multiplex PCR, and surveillance. At the patient level, diagnostics can help clinicians make decisions about therapy and medical procedures, leading to improvements in patient outcomes. At the population level, AMR surveillance tools may offer monitoring and reporting on the impact of public health measures in real time, in addition to providing insight about the infectious disease and resistance landscape. 

While antimicrobial resistance varies by location, Dr. Timbrook says that local efforts in stewardship carry a global impact. According to a recent study, an estimated 47% of the global population has little to no access to diagnostics. Without access to diagnostics, it is difficult to improve healthcare and mitigate antimicrobial resistance. International efforts to prevent the further emergence of antibiotic resistant infections must account for these disparities. Dr. Timbrook states, “Because of the importance of antimicrobial resistance to healthcare systems globally, providing access to the necessary diagnostic tests must be a component of any national essential diagnostics list.” 

Combatting antimicrobial resistance requires a multi-disciplinary approach. While antibiotic resistance does occur naturally, the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in humans and animals is accelerating the process and impacting the environment. Advancements in diagnostics can provide stewardship support as part of a One Health approach that unifies environmental, human, and animal health to effectively fight AMR.  

About the World Anti-Microbial Resistance Congress

bioMérieux proudly supports the World Anti-Microbial Resistance Congress, recognizing that awareness and education play an important part in the fight against AMR. 

The World AMR Congress is designed for all stakeholders combating resistance to come together in pursuit of initiatives to help tackle this public health crisis.  

Since 2015, the conference has brought in thousands of attendees from over fifty countries each year. 

To learn more about the World Anti-Microbial Resistance Congress, click here 

Opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of bioMérieux, Inc.  

One Reply to “The Value of Diagnostics in Combatting Antimicrobial Resistance – A Public Health Problem”

  1. What education/training are required to join the effort (preferably as a vocation) to promote international diagnostics especially in the anti- microbial ‘areas’?

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