The feasibility of C-reactive protein point-of-care testing to reduce overuse of antibiotics in children with acute respiratory tract infections in rural Kyrgyzstan: A Pilot Study

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BACKGROUND: In Kyrgyzstan, the morbidity prevalence of and morbidity from acute respiratory tract infections (ARTI) in children is high. Local healthcare workers (HCW) often prescribe antibiotics that are not indicative due to a mix of professional and societal factors. It is suggested to precede with a decision on antibiotics by a point-of-care test (POCT) on the appropriateness of the treatment, eg, a measurement of C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP-guided antibiotic stewardship in children with ARTI has not previously been studied in Central Asia.

PURPOSE: This pilot study was conducted to examine the feasibility of the methods and procedures to be used in the upcoming randomised controlled COORDINATE clinical trial (NCT05195866) and in daily clinical practice in primary care.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: HCWs from three selected rural healthcare facilities were trained in the CRP POCT and in interpretation of results. Children aged 6 months to 12 years attending the primary healthcare facilities with respiratory symptoms were randomly assigned to CRP-guided management or standard care, guided by clinical findings only. Children were followed up for 14 days by scheduled telephone calls to caregivers.

RESULTS: Eighty-one children participated in this pilot study. The CRP POCT and the trial procedures were acceptable to the target group as well as to the HCWs. Children from both groups recovered equally well, with an observed significant lower use of antibiotics in the CRP group. HCWs generally adhered to the CRP guidelines, and only once was an antibiotic prescribed despite low CRP results. No safety concerns were observed. Four parents provided wrong phone numbers impeding follow-up. We will collect all mobile phone numbers in the household for the main trial.

CONCLUSION: The pilot provided satisfactory results, suggesting that the COORDINATE trial of CRP POCT is effective, feasible with minor adjustments and without apparent safety concerns for the participants.

TidsskriftPediatric health, medicine and therapeutics
Sider (fra-til)67-76
Antal sider10
StatusUdgivet - 2024

Bibliografisk note

© 2024 Isaeva et al.

ID: 383395142