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Antibiotic resistance, Antibiotic stewardship, Diagnostic marker, Procalcitonin, Septic shock



  1. Sullivan, Shannon M. MS, RN, CRNP
  2. Von Rueden, Kathryn T. MS, RN, ACNS-BC, FCCM


Over the last decade, the biomarkers procalcitonin and C-reactive protein have gained interest in sepsis research. Procalcitonin is a unique biomarker that is specific to bacterial infection and has demonstrated utility in the risk stratification of patients with potential life-threatening bacterial infections. In addition, procalcitonin has been documented as having a role in reducing the rate of unnecessary antibiotics while positively impacting antibiotic resistance rates and cost savings. The purposes of this review article are to discuss the clinical relevance of C-reactive protein and procalcitonin as diagnostic and prognostic markers for sepsis with a focus on the use of serial procalcitonin levels as a component of antibiotic stewardship programs. The federal government has recently become invested in combating the progression of antibiotic resistance; a 5-year national plan has been developed to address these concerns. Establishing a reliable antibiotic stewardship program is one of the goals of this national plan.