Impact of real time polymerase chain reaction technology on the therapeutic approach to treatment of staphylococcal infections
Can the early identification of the species of staphylococcus responsible for infection by the use of Real Time PCR technology influence the approach to the treatment of these infections? This study was a retrospective cohort study in which two groups of patients were compared. The first group, ‘Physician Aware’ consisted of patients in whom physicians were informed of specific staphylococcal species and antibiotic sensitivity (using RT-PCR) at the time of notification of the gram stain. The second group, ‘Physician Unaware’ consisted of patients in whom treating physicians received the same information 24–72 hours later as a result of blood culture and antibiotic sensitivity determination. The approach to treatment was compared between ‘Physician Aware’ and ‘Physician Unaware’ groups for three different microbiological diagnoses—namely MRSA, MSSA and no-SA (or coagulase negative Staphylococcus). For a diagnosis of MRSA, the mean time interval to the initiation of Vancomycin therapy was 1.08 hours in the ‘Physician Aware’ group as compared to 5.84 hours in the ‘Physician Unaware’ group (p=0.34). For a diagnosis of MSSA, the mean time interval to the initiation of specific anti-MSSA therapy with Nafcillin was 5.18 hours in the ‘Physician Aware’ group as compared to 49.8 hours in the ‘Physician Unaware’ group (p=0.007). Also, for the same diagnosis, the mean duration of empiric therapy in the ‘Physician Aware’ group was 19.68 hours as compared to 80.75 hours in the ‘Physician Unaware’ group (p=0.003) For a diagnosis of no-SA or coagulase negative staphylococcus, the mean duration of empiric therapy was 35.65 hours in the ‘Physician Aware’ group as compared to 44.38 hours in the ‘Physician Unaware’ group (p=0.07). However, when treatment was considered a categorical variable and after exclusion of all cases where anti-MRS therapy was used for unrelated conditions, only 20 of 72 cases in the ‘Physician Aware’ group received treatment as compared to 48 of 106 cases in the ‘Physician Unaware’ group. Conclusions. Earlier diagnosis of MRSA may not alter final treatment outcomes. However, earlier identification may lead to the earlier institution of measures to limit the spread of infection. The early diagnosis of MSSA infection, does lead to treatment with specific antibiotic therapy at an earlier stage of treatment. Also, the duration of empiric therapy is greatly reduced by early diagnosis. The early diagnosis of coagulase negative staphylococcal infection leads to a lower rate of unnecessary treatment for these infections as they are commonly considered contaminants.
Thomas, Jimmy Abraham, "Impact of real time polymerase chain reaction technology on the therapeutic approach to treatment of staphylococcal infections" (2010). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1480787.