2037 patients presenting with non-severe acute respiratory tract infections were randomly selected to either receive a CRP test or to receive routine care. The results showed a significant reduction of antibiotic use in adults and children who received the CRP test while clinical recovery was the same. There was an overall absolute reduction of 14% in antibiotic use with a high degree of heterogeneity in the effect of CRP point-of-care testing across sites.
The results of this study reflect results observed in studies in Western Europe which also showed that the use of a point- of-care CRP test reduces antibiotic prescribing without negatively affecting clinical recovery.
According to the authors of the paper, “Our findings indicate that the intervention could be applied in the resource-constrained settings of low-income and middle-income countries to improve rational antibiotic use for both children and adults with non-severe acute respiratory tract infection without compromising patients' recovery and satisfaction. Considerable heterogeneity between the ten health-care stations indicates the importance of regular review of any intervention and tailoring it to specific local context.”
Read the full paper here: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/langlo/article/PIIS2214-109X(16)30142-5/fulltext