Daphne Stannard, the contributing editor for the Cochrane Review Summary, is the chief nurse researcher and director of the Institute for Nursing Excellence at UCSF Medical Center, San Francisco, California. She is also the director of the UCSF JBI Centre.

For questions related to this article, contact Daphne Stannard at daphne.stannard@ucsfmedctr.org.

What is the safety and efficacy of using procalcitonin for starting or stopping antibiotics using individual patient data with varying severity of acute respiratory infections (ARIs) and from different clinical settings?

Significant morbidity and mortality worldwide are related to ARIs. These infections comprise a large and heterogeneous group of bacterial, viral, and other etiologies. Although the diagnostic gold standard for establishing the presence or absence of ARI has been the use of blood or sputum cultures, these tests lack both sensitivity and specificity, with only around 10% of patients with pneumonia having positive cultures (including some false positives)....

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