Pioneering diagnostics

Resistance to antibiotics

Antimicrobial resistance to antibiotics is a public health threat*. Diagnostic tests contribute to reducing the improper use of antibiotics and help ensure they remain effective. They are also a precious tool for epidemiological surveillance and prevention programs.

The crucial role of diagnostics

Diagnostic tests are able to identify the agent causing an infectious disease and to detect its potential resistance to antibiotics. Such tests contribute to the optimal use of antibiotics, used only to treat bacterial infections. Selecting the antibiotic best adapted to the targeted bacterium helps to slow the emergence of resistant bacteria and therefore to preserve the efficacy of antibiotics. Developing these high medical value tests is a priority for bioMérieux.

Global PPS, a survey of unprecedented scope

In April 2016, bioMérieux and the University of Antwerp presented the final report of the Global Point Prevalence Survey (Global PPS), which studied antibiotic use and bacterial resistance rates by monitoring the practices of 335 hospital centers providing care for adults, children and neonates in 53 countries worldwide. This study highlights the importance of in vitro diagnostics as well as the need to expand the use of diagnostic tests to improve antibiotic prescribing practices. This prevalence survey is repeated in 2017, with the continued support of bioMérieux and the participation of even more healthcare centers and countries.

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Targeted initiatives in the field

CARE, a multi-partner program in China 

The Fondation Mérieux launched the CARE (China Against drug REsistance) Program in 2013. With the support of bioMérieux, which oversees its implementation, CARE aims to set up a new policy for prescribing antibiotics in order to limit the emergence of new resistance mechanisms. In addition to hygiene measures, this policy requires the reassessment of any prescription of antibiotics after 48 hours based on tests results provided by the microbiology laboratory, as well as a maximum treatment duration of seven days, except in exceptional circumstances. In 2016, it was validated in four departments of the University Hospital of Zhejiang Province, a pilot center.

PERFORM, a project in Europe

The European project PERFORM** (Personalized risk assessment for improved management of febrile children across Europe) addresses the problem of identifying a bacterial infection and reducing inappropriate use of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance by developing new tests to differentiate between a viral and a bacterial infection.
The PERFORM consortium brings together 18 international organizations from 10 countries. Of the 10, bioMérieux is the only partner from industry.

A community of experts created at the World HAI/Resistance Forums

Organized by bioMérieux at the Fondation Mérieux’s Conference Center, the World HAI Forums have gathered the world’s leading specialists in the fields of antibiotic resistance and healthcare-associated infections, coming from human and veterinary medicine. The World HAI Forums give participating experts a chance to do prospective analysis of subjects that are not usually discussed. More time is devoted to sharing best practices, successes and failures in the fight against multidrug-resistant bacteria, as a basis for building effective action plans.


* Forecasts are alarming: by 2050, it is estimated that there will be more than 10 million AMR-related deaths annually, which represents one death every three seconds, with an associated cost of over US$100,000 billion:
** The PERFORM grant is one of the largest awarded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 health program (€18 million). Over a five-year period (2016-2021), it provides funding for the development of novel diagnostic tests to improve care for children presenting with high fever on arrival at a hospital or a health clinic.