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Research project

The PREFIX Study

  • Research groups:
  • Lead researcher:
  • Research funder:
    National Institute of Health and Care Research
  • Status:

Project overview

Chest infections are a common reason for people to see their GP. Most such infections are caused by viruses and don’t need antibiotics. However, it can be difficult to tell the difference between viral and bacterial infections. Many patients are therefore prescribed antibiotics unnecessarily. Overuse of antibiotics is leading to a crisis of ‘antibiotic resistance’, where antibiotics no longer work for some infections.

FebriDx® is a new single-use, hand-held test that uses a ‘finger-prick’ of blood, and within 10 minutes, provides a result that can help clinicians decide whether an infection is likely to be caused by a virus or bacteria (

In this ‘feasibility’ study, we would like to see whether FebriDx could be used to safely guide antibiotic treatment and reduce the number of antibiotics prescribed in general practice. We would also like to explore how easy to use the FebriDx test is, and what staff and patients think of the test, in order to help us design a larger future study.

Data will be collected in GP practices from patients presenting with chest infections who agree to undergo testing with FebriDx®. We will also undertake optional follow-up interviews with staff and patients.
1) Explore the possibility of using FebriDx to safely reduce the use of antibiotics for chest infections in primary care.
2) Explore how feasible it would be to do a large research study in the future using FebriDx in GP practices, and how we should design this study.

Co-Principal Investigators:
Professor Nick Francis
Dr Christopher Wilcox

Co-applicants: Dr Tristan Clark, Professor Paul Little, Dr Ingrid Muller, Dr Beth Stuart, Dr Nazrul Islam, Dr Taeko Becque

Funder: NIHR School for Primary Care Research (Project 633)

This study is being conducted by the Primary Care Research Centre.


Lead researcher

Professor Nick Francis

Head of School

Research interests

  • Infections in primary care
  • Antimicrobial stewardship
  • Respiratory infections

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

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