Usefulness of C-Reactive Protein and Other Host BioMarker Point-of-Care Tests in the Assessment of Non-Malarial Acute Febrile Illnesses: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis

Giulia Bertoli, Niccolò Ronzoni, Ronaldo Silva, Michele Spinicci, Chiara Perlini, Luca Omega, Tamara Ursini, Alessandro Bartoloni, Piero Olliaro, Zeno Bisoffi, Dora Buonfrate

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

In low- and middle-income countries, in resource-limited settings, the implementation of diagnostic tools discriminating bacterial from nonbacterial fever is a matter of primary concern. The introduction of malaria rapid diagnostic tests highlighted the need for point-of-care tests (POCTs) supporting clinical decision-making for non-malarial febrile illnesses. The purpose of this work was to review the use of host biomarker POCTs for the assessment of acute non-malarial fever in resource-constraint settings. Specific objectives were as follows: 1) to estimate the accuracy of such tests in differentiating fever of bacterial from nonbacterial origin and 2) to assess the impact of host biomarkers on antibiotic prescription and clinical outcome. We conducted a systematic review searching PubMed, Embase, the Cochrane Library, and Bireme. The protocol was registered with PROSPERO (n CRD42019141735). Data on the accuracy of C-reactive protein (CRP) for the detection of bacterial infections were meta-analyzed using the hierarchical summary receiver operating characteristic model, obtaining a summary ROC (SROC). We identified 2,192 articles, eight of which were included in the review. Among the different biomarkers evaluated, CRP was the one most frequently studied. The SROC presented an area under the curve = 0.77 (CI: 0.73–0.81), which indicates good accuracy to distinguish bacterial from nonbacterial infections. However, the optimal cutoff of CRP could not be assessed, and we found insufficient evidence about its impact on antibiotic prescription and clinical outcome. The role of CRP and other host biomarker POCTs for the assessment of acute non-malarial febrile illnesses in resource-constraint settings deserves further studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1797-1802
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume103
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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