Diagnostic stewardship in infectious diseases: a continuum of antimicrobial stewardship in the fight against antimicrobial resistance

Zakhour J., Haddad S. F., Kerbage A., Wertheim H., Tattevin P., Voss A., ...More

International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, vol.62, no.1, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 62 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2023.106816
  • Journal Name: International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, Environment Index, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Antimicrobial resistance, Antimicrobial stewardship, Diagnostic stewardship, Multidisciplinary teams, Novel diagnostics in Infectious Diseases
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been exacerbated by the inappropriate use of diagnostics, leading to excessive prescription of antimicrobials, and is an imminent threat to global health. Diagnostic stewardship (DS) is an auxiliary to antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) and comprises ordering the right tests, for the right patient, at the right time. It also promotes the judicious use of rapid and novel molecular diagnostic tools to enable the initiation of proper antibiotic therapy, while avoiding excessive use of broad-spectrum antibiotics. Proper interpretation of test results is crucial to avoid overdiagnosis and excessive healthcare costs. Although many rapid diagnostic tools have been developed with a high diagnostic yield, they are often limited by accessibility, cost, and lack of knowledge regarding their use. Careful consideration of clinical signs and symptoms with knowledge of the local epidemiology are essential for DS. This enables appropriate interpretation of microbiological results. Multidisciplinary teams that include well trained professionals should cooperate to promote DS. Challenges and barriers to the implementation of DS are mostly caused by scarcity of resources and lack of trained personnel and, most importantly, lack of knowledge. The lack of resources is often due to absence of awareness of the impact that good medical microbiology diagnostic facilities and expertise can have on the proper use of antibiotics.