Clinical Edge

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Fewer Antibiotics Prescribed With PCR vs Conventional Stool Testing

Key clinical point: Resource utilization and antibiotic prescribing were lower with polymerase chain reaction–based testing for stool pathogens, compared with conventional culture techniques.

Major finding: Patients receiving GI polymerase chain reaction were 12% less likely to receive endoscopy, 7% less likely to receive abdominal radiography, and 11% less likely to receive an antibiotic, compared with those undergoing conventional stool culture.

Study details: A retrospective study of 5,986 patients undergoing conventional stool culture and 9,402 patients receiving GI PCR before and after a March 2015 transition to polymerase chain reaction testing.

Disclosures: The authors reported no outside sources of funding. Dr. Axelrad has consulted for and received research funding from BioFire, which markets the test used in the study, but BioFire did not fund the study.


Axelrad J et al. DDW 2019, Presentation 978.