Point-of-care Testing in Pediatric Infectious Diseases
A point-of-care test is broadly defined as a diagnostic test that is performed at or near the site of care. It has a fast turnaround time enabling an expedited clinical decision that may lead to an improved patient outcome. Generally speaking, point-of-care tests for pediatric infectious diseases can be classified into 2 categories: pathogen-specific tests (eg, respiratory syncytial virus) or host biomarkers (eg, C-reactive protein [CRP], procalcitonin [PCT]). The number of available tests has increased exponentially, also fueled by the high demand in resource-limited settings for point-of-care solutions where laboratory infrastructures are lacking (eg, HIV and malaria). However, many unmet needs remain either for specific pathogens or because tests only partially meet the basic requirements for an implementable test that may lead to an improvement in patient outcomes. We summarize the requirements for a high-impact point-of-care test for pediatric infections.