November: RAPID-TEST | Information and options

Doctor holding a swab for a mucus sample from a child

A brand new randomised managed scientific trial, led by the College of Bristol, will examine whether or not speedy microbiological ‘point-of-care’ exams for respiratory infections may cut back antibiotic prescribing in major care, because of funding of £1.6 million by the Nationwide Institute for Well being and Care Analysis (NIHR). The exams, that are carried out in GP surgical procedures fairly than despatched to a laboratory, detect the presence of viruses and a few micro organism, with outcomes obtainable on the identical day.

Yearly, tens of millions of individuals within the UK search assist for respiratory infections, comparable to coughs, colds, chest infections, sore throats and earaches. On common, GPs and nurses give antibiotics to half of those sufferers. That is greater than is important as a result of most respiratory infections are attributable to viruses, together with COVID-19, however antibiotics solely work on micro organism. That is needlessly contributing to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), however since clinicians do not all the time know who wants them, they’re typically given ‘simply in case’. 

Producers are growing same-day swab exams that may detect a number of viruses related to respiratory infections in as little as 45 minutes – quick sufficient for clinicians to make same-day selections about whether or not to prescribe antibiotics. A UK authorities overview printed in 2016 helps their use, seeing them as crucial to enhancing antibiotic use.

RAPID-TEST is a big randomised managed scientific trial that can examine whether or not point-of-care exams actually do cut back antibiotic prescribing basically follow, and the way. The mission is a part of a long-standing collaboration between the College of Bristol and the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire NHS Built-in Care Board.

Professor Alastair Hay, a GP and Chief Investigator of the research based mostly on the Centre for Tutorial Main Care and the Bristol Trials Centre at College of Bristol, stated: “Business is investing some huge cash within the growth of those exams and the potential future price to the NHS is excessive. It’s due to this fact essential we’re assured they’re an excellent use of scarce NHS funds earlier than they’re launched into routine care. A well-conducted scientific trial, like RAPID-TEST, is one of the simplest ways to seek out out.

“Though it could at first appear apparent that they need to be used, there are different elements to think about along with price. For instance, when a virus is detected, it doesn’t imply it’s inflicting the an infection. Some viruses can reside harmlessly in our noses and throats. So, nurses and GPs should nonetheless use their judgement about whether or not a bacterial an infection can be current.

“Second, no check is 100% correct. It would say ‘no virus’ when an essential virus is current. This implies sufferers could possibly be given the unsuitable recommendation or therapy. Lastly, the choice to prescribe antibiotics might be influenced by elements outdoors the check outcomes, such because the patient-clinician interplay and sufferers’ expectations for antibiotics.

“We’ll take into account all of those elements on this trial, and also will take a look at whether or not the usage of speedy point-of-care exams helps sufferers really feel higher faster. If the exams are proven to be efficient in lowering antibiotic prescribing, we’ll do additional analysis on their cost-effectiveness.”        

Lord Jim O’Neill, who chaired the UK authorities commissioned AMR review printed in Could 2016, stated: “Many individuals will keep in mind the AMR overview really useful the usage of speedy diagnostics to scale back pointless antibiotic use, so I’m delighted that the NIHR has chosen to fund this essential scientific trial. We all know from Professor Hay’s previous research that the exams are well-liked with GPs and nurses. With this trial there’s the chance to learn the way efficient they are often.”

For extra details about the trial, go to the study website.

GP practices within the South West of England who want to participate ought to contact the research workforce at

This week is World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (18-24 November).

Additional info

Editorial: Point-of-care testing for respiratory infections during and after COVID-19‘ by Hannah Thornton, Tanzeela Khalid and Alastair D Hay in British Journal of Normal Follow (BJGP)

Hearken to the BJGP podcast – a extra in-depth dialogue in regards to the points raised within the BJGP editorial with Professor Alastair Hay.

Concerning the Centre for Tutorial Main Care
The Centre for Tutorial Main Care (CAPC) on the College of Bristol is a number one centre for major care analysis within the UK, one among 9 forming the NIHR College for Main Care Analysis. It sits inside Bristol Medical College, an internationally recognised centre of excellence for inhabitants well being analysis and instructing.

Observe on Twitter: @capcbristol

About Bristol Trials Centre
Bristol Trials Centre (BTC) is a UKCRC-registered Scientific Trial Unit. We provide a variety of experience in trials methodology, research design, research administration, statistical analyses and information administration, together with bespoke database design. It sits inside Bristol Medical College, an internationally recognised centre of excellence for inhabitants well being analysis and instructing.

Observe on Twitter: @BrsTrialsCentre

Concerning the NIHR

The mission of the Nationwide Institute for Well being and Care Analysis (NIHR) is to enhance the well being and wealth of the nation by means of analysis. We do that by:

  • Funding top quality, well timed analysis that advantages the NHS, public well being and social care;
  • Investing in world-class experience, amenities and a talented supply workforce to translate discoveries into improved therapies and providers;
  • Partnering with sufferers, service customers, carers and communities, enhancing the relevance, high quality and affect of our analysis;
  • Attracting, coaching and supporting the very best researchers to sort out advanced well being and social care challenges;
  • Collaborating with different public funders, charities and business to assist form a cohesive and globally aggressive analysis system;
  • Funding utilized world well being analysis and coaching to fulfill the wants of the poorest folks in low and center revenue nations.

NIHR is funded by the Division of Well being and Social Care. Its work in low and center revenue nations is principally funded by means of UK Assist from the UK authorities.