Utility of the Respiratory Viral Panel as an Antimicrobial Stewardship Tool

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What is Known and Objective: The development of rapid diagnostics has revolutionized antimicrobial stewardship with efforts targeting earlier de-escalation or discontinuation of antibiotics. The respiratory viral panel (RVP) is one tool quickly able to detect common viral and bacterial pathogens using polymerase chain reaction technology. Utility may be further enhanced in conjunction with procalcitonin (PCT). However, the optimal use of the RVP to the clinical pharmacist in the treatment of community-acquired respiratory infections remains unclear. Methods: The purpose of this guide is to review the available literature regarding the impact of the RVP with and without procalcitonin on antimicrobial stewardship efforts and to provide guidance on how to use each of these tools. Results and Discussion: In total, 13 studies were included, 5 of which utilized PCT in conjunction with RVP and 8 of which did not use PCT. The majority of studies were retrospective in nature, and the most common outcomes evaluated were antibiotic days of therapy (DOT) and time to antibiotic discontinuation. What is New and Conclusion: After review, RVP alone has limited value to antimicrobial stewardship; however, when used in conjunction with procalcitonin, RVP has the potential to reduce antibiotic use and duration.