Potential usefulness of C-reactive protein and procalcitonin determination in patients admitted for neurological disorders in rural Democratic Republic of Congo
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
In low-resource hospitals of central Africa, neurological disorders are frequent and etiologies very diverse. The difficulty to identify invasive bacterial infections in this setting results in major antibiotic overuse. Biomarkers such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and procalcitonin (PCT) may help discriminate these conditions. We retrospectively determined the concentrations of CRP and PCT in the sera of patients consecutively enrolled from 2012 to 2015 in an etiological study on neurological disorders at the rural hospital of Mosango, Democratic Republic of Congo. Invasive bacterial infection had been diagnosed by the demonstration of a bacterial pathogen in cerebrospinal fluid or blood cultures or the presence of radiological pneumonia. Sera of 313 (89.2%) and 317 (90.3%) of the 351 enrolled participants were available for determination of CRP and PCT concentrations respectively. Areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves for invasive bacterial infection, diagnosed in 19 tested cases, were 94.3% for CRP and 91.7% for PCT. No single case had a normal CRP concentration (<10 mg/L). Our data, although limited, suggest that CRP or PCT concentrations may help discriminate invasive bacterial infections in patients with neurological disorders in tropical settings and that normal CRP values could assist in withholding antibiotics.