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Dr Thomas Althaus

Dr Thomas Althaus

Podcast interview

Prescription of antibiotics at the point of care is very high in Southeast Asia. Simple tests can help health workers determine which patients actually need antibiotics, but we need to ensure that the benefits and advantages are clearly explained. In the long term, those tests could represent a sustainable alternative to the massive prescription of antibiotics in developing countries.

Thomas Althaus

Clinical Trial Coordinator

MAEMOD

I'm a DPhil student at the University of Oxford, based in Bangkok at the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, and I’m a member of the Economic & Translational Research Group (ETRG) headed by Dr. Yoel Lubell. Within the group, my focus is on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Particularly, I aim to validate point-of-care (POC) tests for inflammatory biomarkers guiding the prescription of antibiotics in febrile patients attending primary healthcare settings in remote Southeast Asia.

My objective is to create clinical algorithms integrating biomarkers rapid testing with clinical assessment in order to improve the diagnostic methods where health services are limited.

I am coordinating a clinical trial in both Myanmar and Northern Thailand, aiming to validate the use of C-reactive protein (CRP) rapid test used at POC in non-malarial febrile patients, with the objective to integrate CRP POC in health worker’s decision-making, and therefore to better identify patients who need an antibiotic, and those who do not.

I am also involved in the qualitative aspect of this trial, as I am interested in understanding the perception, attitudes and behaviors of both health workers working in primary heath settings, and patients from the community.

Lastly, I would like to focus on an economic analysis, studying the impact of antibiotics' direct and indirect costs on society, in order to demonstrate that POC tests could represent a sustainable alternative to the massive prescription of antibiotics in developing countries.

Recent publications

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