Management of Respiratory Infections with Use of Procalcitonin: Moving toward More Personalized Antibiotic Treatment Decisions

Yannick Wirz, Angela Branche, Michel Wolff, Tobias Welte, Vandack Nobre, Konrad Reinhart, Ann R. Falsey, Pierre Damas, Albertus Beishuizen, Rodrigo O. Deliberato, Yahya Shehabi, Jens Ulrik S. Jensen, Beat Mueller, Philipp Schuetz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Due to overlap of clinical findings and low sensitivity of bacterial diagnostic tests, differentiation between bacterial and viral respiratory tract infections remains challenging, ultimately leading to antibiotic overuse in this population of patients. Addition of procalcitonin, a blood biomarker expressed by epithelial cells in response to bacterial infections, to the clinical assessment leads to a reduction in inappropriate antibiotic initiation. Procalcitonin also provides prognostic information about the resolution of illness, and significant decreases over time are a strong signal for the discontinuation of antibiotics. Current evidence from randomized trials indicates that procalcitonin-guided antibiotic stewardship results in a reduction in antibiotic use and antibiotic side effects, which importantly translates into improved survival of patients with respiratory infections. Inclusion of procalcitonin into antibiotic stewardship algorithms thus improves the diagnostic and therapeutic management of patients presenting with respiratory illnesses and holds great promise to mitigate the global bacterial resistance crisis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)875-879
Number of pages5
JournalACS Infectious Diseases
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 8 Dec 2017

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