Volume 101, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



There is insufficient evidence on whether dengue rapid diagnostic tests (dRDTs) influence clinical decisions in endemic areas. Therefore, our objective was to evaluate the impact of dRDTs on the prescription of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs by physicians in a dengue-endemic area in Colombia. A retrospective cohort study was conducted with 330 patients in Cali, Colombia, between January 2012 and December 2017. The exposure was defined by the result of the dRDT. The outcomes were prescription of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs after results of dRDT. Incidence and RR with 95% CIs were estimated. Multivariate logistic regression models were fitted separately for each outcome. Antibiotics were prescribed in 3% exposed and 14% unexposed. Anti-inflammatory drugs were prescribed in 1.2% exposed and 7.9% unexposed. A positive dRDT reduced the prescription of anti-inflammatories (AdjOR: 0.06, 95% CI: 0.008–0.5) but, by itself, had no effect on antibiotics (AdjOR: 1.1, 95% CI: 0.2–6); however, in hospitalized patients, a positive result reduced the probability of antibiotic prescription (AdjOR: 0.02, 95% CI: 0.00–0.8). Despite limitations of current dRDTs, they influence treatment decisions. Further studies are needed to assess the effect of dRDTs in patient outcomes and health-care costs.


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  • Received : 21 Mar 2019
  • Accepted : 25 May 2019
  • Published online : 22 Jul 2019

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