Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Kristen Nichols


Rapid molecular technology can detect the mecA resistance gene in Staphylococcus aureus (SA), predicting methicillin susceptibility in under one hour. In combination with antimicrobial stewardship program interventions in adults with SA bacteremia, rapid mecA testing decreases time to targeted therapy. This intervention has not yet been shown effective in pediatric patients or in the absence of real-time stewardship interventions. The objective of this study was to determine if time to optimal therapy decreased following implementation of GeneXpert rapid diagnostic testing (RDT) in a pediatric institution without a formal antimicrobial stewardship protocol for response. The primary outcome was time to optimal therapy, determined by the number of hours from collection of the blood sample to the initiation of an optimal regimen. Optimal regimens were defined as vancomycin therapy alone for MRSA and nafcillin, oxacillin, or cefazolin alone for MSSA.