Kamis, 30 Oktober 2008

Evidence-based infectious diseases

The field of infectious diseases, or more accurately the importance of illness due to infections,
played a major role in the development of epidemiological research in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Classical observational epidemiology was derived from studies of epidemics – infectious diseases such as cholera, smallpox, and tuberculosis. Classical epidemiology was nevertheless action-oriented.
For example, John Snow’s observations regarding cholera led to his removal of the Broad Street pump handle in an attempt to reduce the incidence of cholera. Pasteur, on developing an animal vaccine for anthrax, vaccinated a number of animals with members of the media in attendance.4 When unvaccinated animals subsequently died, while vaccinated animals did not, the results were immediately reported throughout Europe’s newspapers. In the era of clinical epidemiology, it is notable that the first true randomized controlled trial is widely attributed to Sir Austin Bradford Hill’s 1947 study of streptomycin for tuberculosis.5 In subsequent years, and long before the “large simple trial” was rediscovered by the cardiology community, large-scale trials were carried out for polio prevention, and tuberculosis prevention and treatment. Having led the developments in both classical and clinical epidemiology, is current infectious diseases practice evidence-based? We believe the answer is “somewhat”. We have excellent evidence for the efficacy and side effects of many modern vaccines, while the acceptance of before-after data to prove the efficacy of antibiotics for treating bacterial meningitis is ethically appropriate. In the field of HIV medicine we have very strong data to support our methods of diagnosis, assessing prognosis and treatment, as well as very persuasive evidence supporting causation. However, in treating many common infectious syndromes – from sinusitis and cellulitis to pneumonia – we have many very basic diagnostic and therapeutic questions that have not been optimally answered. How do we reliably diagnose pneumonia? Which antibiotic is most effective and cost-effective? Can we improve on the impaired quality of life that often follows such infections as pneumonia? While virtually any patient presenting with a myocardial infarction will benefit from aspirin and thrombolytic therapy, there may not be a single “best” antibiotic for pneumonia. Much of the “evidence” that guides therapy in the infectious diseases, particularly for bacterial diseases, may not be clinical, but exists in the form of a sound biologic rationale, the activity of the antimicrobial against the offending pathogen and the penetration at the site of infection (pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics). Still, despite having a sound biologic basis for choice of therapy, there are many situations where better randomized controlled trials need to be conducted and where clinically important outcomes, such as symptom improvement and health-related quality, are measured. How, then, can we define “evidence-based infectious diseases” (EBID)? Paraphrasing David Sackett, EBID may be defined as “the explicit, judicious and conscientious use of current best evidence from infection diseases research in making decisions about the prevention and treatment of infection of individuals and populations”. It is an attempt to bridge the gap between research evidence and the clinical practice of infectious diseases. Such an “evidence-based approach” may include critically appraising evidence for the efficacy of a vaccine or a particular antimicrobial treatment regimen. However, it may also involve finding the best evidence to support (or refute) use of a diagnostic test to detect a potential pathogen. Additionally, EBID refers to the use of the best evidence to estimate prognosis of an infection or risk factors for the development of infection. EBID therefore represents the application of research findings to help answer a specific clinical question. In so doing, it is a form of knowledge transfer, from the researcher to the clinician. It is important to remember that use of research evidence is only one component of good clinical decision-making. Experience and clinical skills are essential components. EBID serves to inform the decision-making process.For the field of infectious diseases, a sound knowledge of antimicrobials and microbiologic principles are also needed.


Sumber : Loeb Mark, Smieja Marek, Smaill Fiona . Introduction to evidence-based infectious diseases. In EVIDENCE-BASED INFECTIOUS DISEASES. © BMJ Publishing Group Ltd 2004,p.1-2 

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