New Way of Determining Treatment for Staph Infections Cuts Antibiotic Use

Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Culture on Petri Dish

Using a clinical checklist to identify eligible patients, doctors were able to shorten the antibiotic duration for patients with uncomplicated staphylococcal bloodstream infections by nearly two days, Duke Health researchers report.
 
That’s good news for individual patients and could also help reduce antibiotic resistance on a broader scale. 
 
“Staphylococci infections are among the most common causes of blood infection in the country,” said Thomas L. Holland, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at Duke and lead author of a study appearing Sept. 25 in the Journal of the American Medical Association

Holland and colleagues in the Staphylococcal Bacteremia Investigators initiative tested an algorithm that defines how long patients with staph bloodstream infections should receive IV antibiotics. 
 
The algorithm is based on specific clinical characteristics, such as how long the patient has had a fever, blood culture results, findings of heart infection, and other criteria. These criteria help doctors determine whether the infection is simple, uncomplicated or complicated -- the most severe -- in which infection has spread to the heart, spine or some other site in the body. 
 
The study included 509 patients with staph bloodstream infections at 16 medical centers in the U.S. and Spain. Roughly half of the patients were randomly assigned to receive the algorithm-guided duration of antibiotic. For the other half, doctors determined the duration of their antibiotic treatment based on standard practice.

Read complete article at Duke Health News