Open Forum Infect Dis. 2021 Jul 8;8(8):ofab368. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofab368. eCollection 2021 Aug.
BACKGROUND: Antibiotic treatment decisions in severely ill patients must often be made in the absence of microbiologic results. The recently Food and Drug Administration-cleared BioFire FilmArray Pneumonia Panel (PN) detects 15 bacteria semiquantitatively, 3 atypical pneumonia bacteria, 8 viruses, and 7 antimicrobial resistance markers by multiplex PCR in ~1 hour in the laboratory. Previous reports have shown that the PN Panel bacterial detections are highly accurate, even when routine culture had no growth.
METHODS: Consecutive bronchoalveolar lavage and endotracheal specimens submitted for culture between June and September 2018 from 270 patients with sufficient clinical and laboratory data were tested with the PN Panel. Patients were divided into 3 groups: (1) both culture and PN Panel positive, (2) PN Panel positive but culture uninformative (no growth or normal flora), and (3) patients with no PN Panel detections.
RESULTS: Groups 1 and 2 had significantly higher maximum temperatures on the day of culture (P = .00036, analysis of variance [ANOVA] with Bonferroni correction), higher levels of an inflammatory response as measured by percent polymorphonuclear leukocytes in bronchoalveolar lavage (P = .00025, ANOVA with Bonferroni correction), and gram stain report of white blood cells, as previously reported .
CONCLUSIONS: Both group 1 (culture and PN Panel positive), and group 2 (PN Panel positive but culture uninformative) had higher levels of host response inflammatory responses compared with group 3, which had no targets detected, suggesting that PN Panel detections need to be interpreted in the clinical context, even if cultures are discordant. Depending on laboratory turnaround time, there could be opportunities for improved diagnosis and antibiotic stewardship.