Point-of-care tests for lower respiratory tract infections
Patrick GP Charles, M Lindsay Grayson
MEDICAL JOURNAL OF AUSTRALIA | AUSTRALASIAN MED PUBL CO LTD | Published : 2007
Many lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) are caused by organisms that do not require antibiotics or could be safely treated with narrow-spectrum antibiotics. Reducing the unnecessary use of antibiotics, particularly broad-spectrum agents, could reduce costs and side effects and delay the emergence of antibiotic-resistant organisms. Various point-of-care tests are becoming available to help clinicians identify the cause of LRTIs at the time of consultation. Point-of-care tests can be used to diagnose influenza, pneumococcal infections, Legionella and respiratory syncytial virus infections, thus allowing early decisions to be made on appropriate management.