Recommendation ID
Can rapid microbiological diagnosis of hospital-acquired pneumonia reduce the use of xtendedspectrum antibiotic therapy, without adversely affecting outcomes?
Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)
Data are limited on the microbiology of hospital-acquired pneumonia to guide antibiotic therapy. Hospital-acquired infections can be caused by highly resistant pathogens that need treatment with extended-spectrum antibiotics (for example, extended-spectrum penicillins, third-generation cephalosporins, aminoglycosides, carbapenems, linezolid, vancomycin, or teicoplanin), as recommended by British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy guidance. Because routine microbial tests lack sensitivity and take 24–48 hours to identify a causative pathogen, patient characteristics are used to guide antibiotic choice. However, this may lead to unnecessary use of
extended-spectrum antibiotics in patients infected with non-resistant organisms, and inappropriate use of first-line antibiotics (such as beta-lactam stable penicillins, macrolides or doxycycline) in patients infected with resistant organisms. Rapid diagnostic tests to identify causative bacterial pathogens and determine whether they are resistant to antibiotics may have a role in guiding antibiotic choice for postoperative hospital-acquired pneumonia.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Pneumonia in adults: diagnosis and management
Date issued
December 2014

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 06/01/2015