A target product profile (TPP), describing the optimal characteristics for new diagnostic tools that can help management of undifferentiated acute fever, has been published by a cross-section of leading experts in febrile illness and diagnostics delivery in resource-poor settings.
Non-malarial fevers account for of the majority of fever cases in low- and middle-income countries. Antibiotics are ineffective for illnesses caused by viruses or parasites, yet health workers often incorrectly prescribe them in the absence of a test that can identify fevers as bacterial or non-bacterial. Over-use of antibiotics contributes to the spread of antimicrobial resistance and leads to poorer patient outcomes.
The new TPP provides guidelines for researchers and test developers by defining the minimum and optimal characteristics of diagnostic tests that meet the needs of users in community health centres and informal health settings, including rural health posts and community health workers. The TPP addresses intended use, as well as design and performance factors such as sensitivity, specificity, time-to-result, price, sample type, data interpretation and biosafety.
The TPP was developed through a consensus-based process, facilitated by FIND, WHO, MSF Access Campaign and ReAct. FIND’s work was supported by Australian Government, the Dutch Government and the UK Government.
[Authors: Sabine Dittrich, Birkneh Tilahun Tadesse, Francis Moussy, Arlene Chua, Anna Zorzet, Thomas Tängdén, David L. Dolinger, Anne-Laure Page, John A. Crump, Valerie D’Acremont, Quique Bassat, Yoel Lubell, Paul N. Newton, Norbert Heinrich, Timothy J. Rodwell, Iveth J. González]