Evaluating technologies that hope to guide antibiotic use
We are part of a national partnership awarded over £200,000 to design a platform for assessing tests that aim to steer antibiotic treatment.
Every hour five people in the UK die of Sepsis. This condition is due to the immune system going into overdrive to combat a severe infection caused by a bacteria. The key to recovery from Sepsis is quick treatment with the most appropriate antibiotic. However current laboratory tests take 1-2 days to give results. Symptoms can be monitored at the bedside, but they are like those associated with viral and fungal infections which cannot be successfully treated with antibiotics. The overuse of antibiotics also makes resistant bacteria more common.
New technologies may help healthcare workers to distinguish infections and make decisions about whether to start, stop or switch treatments. However. firstly these technologies need to be examined to determine whether they are safe, accurate and will benefit patients. Ideally a platform study would be used. This type of study can evaluate different technologies at the same time so the most promising test can be identified and adopted quickly into use.
We are part of a national collaboration awarded £ 204,996 from the NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme to design a platform study to assess these new technologies. The study, named PROTECT, is led by Dr Philip Pallmann (Cardiff University) and Prof Enitan Carrol (University of Liverpool).
The 12-month acceleration award will be used to assemble the project team and prepare for the platform study. The work aims to identify which technologies should be tested and when they could be best used. The project team will also gather the views of patients, carers, and healthcare professionals on the technologies and how their impact should be measured.
Our senior methodologist Dr Clare Lendrem and methodologist Dr Cameron Williams will lead the NIHR Newcastle MIC’s involvement in the project. The multidisciplinary team of researchers spans several other organisations including Kings College London, University of Leeds, University of Manchester, Newcastle University and North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust. Three public contributors are also part of the project team.
In November 2023, we hope to apply for further funding to deliver the PROTECT study.
Read more about the study