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Novel rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) offer huge potential to optimise clinical care and improve patient outcomes. In this study, we aim to assess the current patterns of use around the world, identify issues for successful implementation and suggest best practice advice on how to introduce new tests. An electronic survey was devised by the International Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (ISAC) Rapid Diagnostics and Biomarkers working group focussing on the availability, structure and impact of RDTs around the world. It was circulated to ISAC members in December 2019. Results were collated according to the UN human development index (HDI). 81 responses were gathered from 31 different countries. 84% of institutions reported the availability of any test 24/7. In more developed countries, this was more for respiratory viruses, whereas in high and medium/low developed countries, it was for HIV and viral hepatitis. Only 37% of those carrying out rapid tests measured the impact. There is no 'one-size fits all' solution to RDTs: the requirements must be tailored to the healthcare setting in which they are deployed and there are many factors that should be considered prior to this.

Original publication





European journal of clinical microbiology & infectious diseases : official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology

Publication Date





429 - 434


NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, UK.