Antimicrobial Stewardship and the Role of Improved Diagnosis in the Management of Acute Respiratory Tract Infections


Title: Antimicrobial Stewardship and the Role of Improved Diagnosis in the Management of Acute Respiratory Tract Infections

Date: Tuesday, September 17

Time: 1 p.m. ET

Presenters: Matthew Thompson, MD, MPH, PhD

Improving Accuracy and Providing More Targeted Use of Antimicrobials

Many antibiotic prescriptions may be inappropriate, which can lead to antibiotic resistance, adverse effects for patients, and care-seeking patient behaviors. Antimicrobials are routinely prescribed to adults and children in response to common acute respiratory infections (ARI), but healthcare providers hope to improve diagnostic accuracy to deliver better and more targeted antibiotic and antiviral therapies.

There are currently two main types of diagnostic tests for ARI: some detect pathogens in respiratory samples and others assess the body’s response to determine whether an infection is of viral or bacterial etiology. For example, the majority of tests for group A Strep detect antigens in a throat culture specimen. But these tests lack sensitivity and have limited specificity, and they can lead to a significant number of false-negative results and increase the need for further laboratory verification. However, new point-of-care molecular tests for group A Strep offer higher sensitivity and specificity and will likely replace existing antigen tests.

In this P.A.C.E.-accredited Fisher Healthcare webinar, we’ll focus on newer tests that advance point-of-care diagnosis for group A Strep, influenza, and RSV. Dr. Matthew Thompson will discuss the effectiveness of ARI testing at the point of care, compare performance for different test methods, and explain how diagnostics can aid the stewardship efforts of healthcare providers.

Learning Objectives

This webinar will help you:

  • Describe antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic treatment patterns in the U.S.
  • Discuss peer-reviewed literature on the performance of point-of-care diagnostic tests for group A Strep, influenza, and RSV
  • Review the benefits of decentralized testing for respiratory pathogens
  • Explain current guidelines and recommendations for detecting respiratory pathogens

Watch On Demand        Download Slides (PDF, 2.72MB)

This webinar is produced by Whitehat Communications, a provider of continuing education programs in clinical laboratory sciences that has been approved by the ASCLS P.A.C.E. Program. One P.A.C.E. credit hour will be provided for this complimentary, basic-level program.



Matthew Thompson, MD, MPH, PhD

Dr. Thompson is the Helen D. Cohen endowed Professor and Vice Chair for Research at the University of Washington Department of Family Medicine and a Family Doctor in one of UW Medicine’s neighborhood clinics. He completed his residency training in family medicine at the University of Cincinnati and earned a Master’s degree in public health at the University of Washington and Doctorate at the University of Oxford.

Dr. Thompson has a particular interest in improving the accuracy of diagnosis of respiratory tract infections in order to guide more appropriate antimicrobial prescribing. This research has included the use of point-of-care tests for group A strep, influenza, and inflammatory markers. He has also published extensively on the use of clinical prediction rules to identify individuals at higher risk of serious infections.

His research has also included clinical trials and systematic reviews of the effectiveness of antibiotics and/or oral steroids for sinusitis, sore throat, and lower respiratory tract infections. In addition, he has conducted research on the effectiveness of short vs. long courses of antibiotics, the effectiveness of behavioral interventions to reduce antibiotic use, and understanding health seeking behavior for parents of children with respiratory infections. Recent research has explored patient and practitioner attitudes toward the use of antibiotics in primary care, demonstrating strong interest among patients to reduce antibiotics, and clinicians’ desire for additional tools to help them manage antibiotics better.