Review of rapid diagnostic tests used by antimicrobial stewardship programs

Clin Infect Dis. 2014 Oct 15;59 Suppl 3:S134-45. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciu547.


Rapid microbiologic tests provide opportunities for antimicrobial stewardship programs to improve antimicrobial use and clinical and economic outcomes. Standard techniques for identification of organisms require at least 48-72 hours for final results, compared with rapid diagnostic tests that provide final organism identification within hours of growth. Importantly, rapid microbiologic tests are considered "game changers" and represent a significant advancement in the management of infectious diseases. This review focuses on currently available rapid diagnostic tests and, importantly, the impact of rapid testing in combination with antimicrobial stewardship on patient outcomes.

Keywords: antimicrobial stewardship; costs; outcomes; rapid diagnostic test.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Communicable Diseases / drug therapy
  • Communicable Diseases / microbiology
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine*
  • Drug Utilization*
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Molecular Typing*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Infective Agents