MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Chris Butler,, BA MBChB DCH CCH MD FRCGP (Hon)FFPH FMedSci
Professor of Primary Care
Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences,
Professorial Fellow at Trinity College
Clinical Director Primary Care Clinical Trials Unit
University of Oxford
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: More than a million people in the UK have COPD, which is a lung condition associated with smoking and other environmental pollutants. People living with the condition often experience exacerbations, or flare-ups, and when this happens, three out of four are prescribed antibiotics. However, two-thirds of these flare-ups are not caused by bacterial infections and antibiotics often do not benefit patients.
A simple finger-prick blood test could help prevent unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics for people with the lung condition chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The finger-prick test measures the amount of C- reactive protein (CRP) – a marker of inflammation that rises rapidly in the blood in response to serious infections. People with a COPD flare-up who have a low CRP level in the blood appear to receive little benefit from antibiotic treatment. The General Practitioner (GP) use of a C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Point of Care Test (POCT) to help target antibiotic prescribing to patients with Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (AECOPD) who are most likely to benefit (The PACE Study) determined whether the using a POCT CRP to guide antibiotic treatment decisions for acute exacerbations of COPD reduced antibiotic use without harming patients.