Dr. Mai Okamoto, Winner of Kurokawa Prize in Resident/Fellow section

I am very honored to receive the Kurokawa Prize at the ACP Japan 2019. I greatly appreciate the support of attending doctors.


History of research

I have been interested in the appropriate antibiotics in my medical student days, but It was different from what I imagine in clinical settings. One of the reasons was that it needs several days to identify bacteria from specimens. Although the antimicrobial agent is determined on the assumption of the microbes, it does not always proceed as expected. In some cases, empirical treatment has failed to cover, on the other hand, I tended to use inappropriate broad-spectrum antibiotics.


The turning point of research

In July 2018, when I was the second year of residency, “FilmArray multiplex PCR” was introduced in our hospital. This machine can identify bacteria in the blood more rapidly than the conventional method. When the blood culture becomes positive, the FilmArray can detect in about one hour. This system has already been introduced abroad, and some studies have shown efficacy for antimicrobial stewardship. There are few experiences in our country and the microbiology laboratory setting is different from that high volume centers in prior reports. So, I decided to examine the change in the usage of antimicrobial agents before and after introducing FilmArray system.


Future expectations

This study showed that the time to start anti-MRSA drug for MRSA was shortened, and furthermore, 28-days overall survival was improved in the Gram-positive cocci baceteremia group by using FilmArray. The improvement of the survival rate is different from the prior studies, and it is considered that further study is necessary. However, our study suggested that the use of FilmArray may help the appropriate use of antibacterial agents. We hope further research will progress and would like to contribute to ASPs.


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