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Welcome to the course

An introduction to week 1 and the overall course. Professor Matteo Bassetti gives a video introduction, and the learning objectives are summarised.
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Welcome to this course on syndromic testing, covering its use in disease diagnosis and its value within antimicrobial stewardship (AMS). This course has been developed by experts in microbiology and infectious diseases.

Over the next two weeks, we will introduce the principles of syndromic testing, the benefits and hurdles of a syndromic approach to the diagnosis of clinical infections, and its use within AMS. Through clinical case studies, we will explore the medical indications which suit such an approach to diagnostics. We will also examine the role of syndromic testing in AMS programs, when being used to diagnose severe infections.

In this first week we will introduce syndromic testing and the topics which will be covered within it. We define syndromic testing and, through clinical scenarios, highlight its benefits for patient care. We will then introduce AMS, and briefly highlight the role for syndromic testing within AMS. By the end of this week, you will be able to:

  • Understand the clinical uses for syndromic testing
  • Assess the benefits and hurdles of rapid syndromic testing as a Point-of-Care diagnostic testing tool
  • Understand the role syndromic testing plays in AMS programs.

A glossary of key terms for this course can be found in the downloads section below.

Using FutureLearn courses

If you are new to FutureLearn courses, click here for a guide on how to engage with the course. Learners are encouraged to introduce themselves and to participate in course discussions and quizzes. Any comments left by users can be viewed by all learners. We encourage you to interact with other learners by ‘liking’ and replying to their comments.

Learners can also upgrade to have:

  • Unlimited access to the course: Go at your own pace with unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn.
  • A Certificate of Achievement: To help you demonstrate your learning we’ll send you a Certificate of Achievement when you become eligible – this can go towards CPD points.

Before we begin, we would like to remind you of FutureLearn’s Code of Conduct which should be considered before participating in the discussions throughout this course.

This course has been approved by The Royal College of Pathologists at a level of 6 credits. The RCPath CPD approval process is in line with the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges standards and criteria for CPD activities framework guidance. Reciprocity has been agreed between colleges/faculties for all approved activities.

Please note that all who submit their details to the RCP to claim CPD agree that FutureLearn may need to share their data, including their progress on the course, with RCP for the purposes of auditing / offering CPD.


We hope you find this course useful and enjoy learning about syndromic testing! We value your input and encourage you to let us know your opinions in the comments as you go along.

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Syndromic Testing and Antimicrobial Stewardship

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