The rise of AMR due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences for treating BSIs.

Rise of AMR due to COVID-19 | Medical Supply Company

The emergence of covid-19 has created a public health crisis of historic proportions. Most of our plans and priorities have been altered as a result, no more so than those of the front line workers that are working tirelessly to fight the virus. Worryingly, there is a hidden epidemic unfolding within the pandemic – antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The pandemic is taking place in the setting of an AMR crisis that is increasing at an alarming pace worldwide.[1] Furthermore, patients who are critically ill with severe COVID-19 and other infectious diseases are at much higher risk of co-infection and thus developing bloodstream infections (BSIs) such as sepsis.[2]

Around half of patients with sepsis in ICUs are a result of hospital acquired infections (HAIs). HAIs are often resistant to antibiotics and can rapidly lead to deteriorating clinical condition.[3] When sepsis is suspected, broad spectrum antibiotics are commonly used while clinicians wait for microbiological results, which can take up 48 hours. The administration of broad spectrum antibiotics while waiting on Identification (I.D) and antimicrobials susceptibility (AST) results is unfortunately adding fuel to the AMR fire.

Elevated rates of AMR creates challenges for health care workers when treating patients with BSIs and significantly increases mortality rates as a result. When treating patients with severe sepsis time is of the essence!

For every hour of delay to optimal antibiotic therapy a patients chances of survival has shown to be reduced by 7.6%.[4]

“Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.” – William Shakespeare.    

After early recognition, diagnostics are essential to guide targeted antimicrobial treatment. This is where the Accelerate Pheno System comes into play!

The Accelerate Pheno System is a revolutionary and novel technology used for the rapid diagnosis of BSIs. The Pheno System uses fluorescence in situ hybridization for species I.D and generates AST results via morpho-kinetic bacterial analysis, with promising results. The system is fully automated and built for speed and simplicity. With only 2 mins hands on time the Pheno system provides I.D and AST results up to 40 hours faster than the current SOC.

The only diagnostic tool on the market to provide both I.D and AST results with MICs after 7 hours.

This technology enables hospitals to improve patient outcomes by significantly reducing turn-around time (TAT) to optimal therapy as well as strengthening their antimicrobial stewardship programme for the fight against AMR.

The Accelerate Pheno System is invaluable for the diagnosis and treatment of sepsis patients, in particular those in ICU, where TAT to optimal therapy is vital for survival.


[1] Abelenda-Alonso, G., Padullés, A., Rombauts, A., Gudiol, C., Pujol, M., & Alvarez-Pouso, C. et al. (2020). Antibiotic prescription during the COVID-19 pandemic: A biphasic pattern. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology41(11), 1371-1372. doi: 10.1017/ice.2020.381

[2] WHO. (2020). Retrieved 5 March 2021, from—cause-of-1-in-5-deaths-worldwide

[3] Sepsis. (2021). Retrieved 10 March 2021, from

[4] Kumar, A., Roberts, D., Wood, K., Light, B., Parrillo, J., & Sharma, S. et al. (2006). Duration of hypotension before initiation of effective antimicrobial therapy is the critical determinant of survival in human septic shock*. Critical Care Medicine34(6), 1589-1596. doi: 10.1097/01.ccm.0000217961.75225.e9

If you would like to find out more get in touch with our Accelerate Diagnostic product specialist below.

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