Antibiotic resistance is an emerging crisis. As early as 1945, Sir Alexander Fleming raised the alarm regarding antibiotic overuse when he warned that the “public will demand the drug… then will begin an era… of abuses.” The overuse of antibiotics clearly drives the evolution of resistance. At Assurance Scientific Laboratories, we do not believe in faulting patients demanding antibiotics or prescribers writing them incorrectly. The tools to make the correct decision have not been readily available to them.
Interestingly, most if not all antibiotic stewardship programs fail to include the most important weapon to win this war – pathogen identification. Timely, accurate, and precise pathogen identification is the only way this war can be fought and won. Without pathogen identification, we lose. Yet, this obvious piece is consistently omitted from stewardship programs.
Current antibiotic stewardship programs are based on pathogen suspicion and limiting antibiotics, usually after a wait-and-see approach. However, most common syndromic infections present similarly and are caused by more than 200 common pathogens, many are bacterial. Intellectual suspicion for which of these 200+ pathogens is the culprit, is equivalent to guessing.
The Assurance Solution
At Assurance Scientific Laboratories, our solution is an antibiotic stewardship program designed to improve the appropriate use of antibiotics by promoting the identification of infectious pathogens.
The science of medicine is rigorous and rooted in objective data. Molecular (genetic) identification, using PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction), is the ideal platform to use. Rapid detection using Real-Time PCR increases our chances of selecting the appropriate treatment regimen from 30% to 99.9%. Molecular testing is superior to traditional culture identification because some pathogens are just too difficult to grow.
The Assurance Product
At Assurance Scientific Laboratories, we believe our clinical lab services are second to none. Our vision of the ideal antimicrobial stewardship program begins with our testing. We offer a comprehensive identification solution to best understand the infectious pathogen. Our lab identifies the pathogen(s) present using very sensitive and specific PCR assays. In addition, if indicated, we perform a rapid culture to confirm the genotype while also confirming the phenotype.
Ultimately a treatment decision has to be made. Knowing the presence of any specific antimicrobial resistance genes guides the clinician to determine what NOT to use. In addition, phenotyping antimicrobial susceptibility is the definitive guide to direct what to use. Having both pathogen genotype and phenotype assures a timely, accurate diagnosis and sustainable treatment plan.
The Assurance Process
At Assurance Scientific Laboratories, we have designed our pathogen detection process with clients and patients in mind.
- Collect a patient specimen.
- Send the specimen to our lab via overnight shipping or courier.
- The specimen arrives in our lab and results will be ready in one day.
- Results are delivered on a one page summary that provides answers to most questions, without having to review pages of data.
We accept most insurance and only collect the allowed amount.