Rapid Diagnostic Testing for C-reactive Protein to Differentiate Bacterial and Viral Infection in Febrile Patients to Reduce Antimicrobial Use in Remote Health Care Centers of Gulmi District of Nepal: a Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial
In Health Posts of rural areas operated by the Government of Nepal, there are limitations of tests to differentiate between bacterial and viral infections. Due to this, health workers are obliged to prescribe antimicrobials (antibacterials) just on the basis of clinical features. This can lead to irrational use of antimicrobials, consequently contributing to antimicrobial resistance. C-reactive protein is the marker of inflammation which rises during bacterial infection but rarely rises during viral infection. The investigators wish to compare the effect on antimicrobial usage of using CRP(C-Reactive Protein) test, a rapid diagnostic test used to differentiate bacterial and viral infection, with usual standard of care, by carrying out a cluster-randomized controlled trial. The investigators plan to carry out this study in eight Health Posts of Resunga, Dhurkot and Gulmi-Durbar Municipalities of Gulmi District. The investigators will randomly allocate four Health Posts (clusters) to the intervention arm- CRP TESTS in addition to Usual Standard of Care, and four Health Posts (clusters) to the control arm- Usual Standard of Care Alone. The investigators plan to study all patients above one year of age presenting with fever or a history of reported fever with a duration of up to 7 days in Health Posts. Primarily, the investigators will assess the rates of antimicrobial use per patient who presents with febrile illness. Secondarily, the investigators will also assess the outcome of illness of the patient such as need for subsequent hospital admission or severe or complicated illness. This testing method will supplement the existing methods to differentiate bacterial and viral infections based on history and clinical examination by health professionals as a part of usual standard of care in the Health Posts included in this study.
• History of reported fever or fever greater than 100.4◦F (38◦C) with duration of illness up to 7 days
• Duration of fever less than or equal to 7 days
• Can connect with mobile phone for follow up