BackgroundRapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for infectious diseases, with a turnaround time of less than 2 hours, are promising tools that could improve patient care, antimicrobial stewardship and infection prevention in the emergency department (ED) setting. Numerous RDTs have been developed, although not necessarily for the ED environment. Their successful implementation in the ED relies on their performance and impact on patient management.
ObjectivesThe aim of this narrative review was to provide an overview of currently available RDTs for infectious diseases in the ED.
SourcesPubMed was searched through August 2019 for available studies on RDTs for infectious diseases. Inclusion criteria included: commercial tests approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or Conformité Européenne (CE) in vitro diagnostic devices with data on clinical samples, ability to run on fully automated systems and result delivery within 2 hours.
ContentA nonexhaustive list of representative commercially available FDA- or CE-approved assays was categorized by clinical syndrome: pharyngitis and upper respiratory tract infection, lower respiratory tract infection, gastrointestinal infection, meningitis and encephalitis, fever in returning travellers and sexually transmitted infection, including HIV. The performance of tests was described on the basis of clinical validation studies. Further, their impact on clinical outcomes and anti-infective use was discussed with a focus on ED-based studies.
ImplicationsClinicians should be familiar with the distinctive features of each RDT and individual performance characteristics for each target. Their integration into ED work flow should be preplanned considering local constraints of given settings. Additional clinical studies are needed to further evaluate their clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.