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FilmArray Blood Culture Identification Panel

The FDA approved BioFire Diagnostic’s FilmArray® Blood Culture Identification Panel on June 25, 2013. This new multiplex PCR/array for blood cultures identifies most isolates within one hour after a blood culture becomes positive. PCR/array results on positive blood cultures can be reported almost as quickly as the results of a Gram stain. PCR/array technology greatly expands the database of immediately identifiable organisms. Gram positive organisms include staphylococci, streptococci, Enterococcus, and Listeria. Gram-negative organisms include E. coli, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas, Serratia, Proteus, Acinetobacter, Haemophilus, and Neisseria meningitidis. Five species of Candida are distinguished as well. Although full susceptibility testing of blood isolates is still necessary, key resistance genes including mecA (distinguishes MRSA vs. MSSA), van A/B (vancomycin-resistant enterococcus), and blaKPC (carbapenemase-resistant enterobacteriaceae) are detected by FilmArray®, facilitating appropriate antimicrobial therapy and implementation of isolation precautions.

Although FilmArray’s cost per test is higher than conventional methods for identification of organisms causing bloodstream infections, this technology should lead to significant downstream health care cost savings. Faster bacterial identification and optimization of antimicrobial therapy has been shown to reduce mortality rates, shorten hospital stays and lowers overall costs due to sepsis.

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