Main content area

Evaluation of the FilmArray™ Meningitis/Encephalitis panel with focus on bacteria and Cryptococcus spp

Nestor, D., Thulin Hedberg, S., Lignell, M., Skovbjerg, S., Mölling, P., Sundqvist, M.
Journal of microbiological methods 2019 v.157 pp. 113-116
Listeria monocytogenes, Neisseria meningitidis, Streptococcus agalactiae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, algorithms, bacteria, central nervous system, cerebrospinal fluid, detection limit, encephalitis, fungi, meningitis, microbial detection, pathogens, patients, polymerase chain reaction, viruses
Molecular methods provide fast and accurate detection of both bacteria and viruses in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) causing infection in the central nervous system (CNS). In the present study we evaluated the bacterial detection performance of the fully automated FilmArray™ Meningitis/Encephalitis (ME) panel (bioMérieux) by comparing it with culture and multiplexed in-house PCR.Three sample types were analysed; Contrived samples with known bacterial/fungal concentration (n = 29), clinical samples from patients with verified cause of CNS infection (n = 17) and external quality assessment (EQA) samples (n = 11). Another six samples were purposely prepared with multiple targets to evaluate multiplex capacity.The FilmArray™ had a slightly higher limit of detection for Streptococcus pneumoniae, Neisseria meningitidis, Listeria monocytogenes and Streptococcus agalactiae compared to in-house PCR methods but performed equal or better when compared to culture. The FilmArray™ ME panel detected the expected pathogen in 17 of 17 clinical samples and yielded detection of three additional viruses of which one was confirmed with comparator techniques. All but one of the EQA samples were correctly detected.The results of this study are promising and the FilmArray™ ME panel could add to the diagnostic algorithm in CNS-infections. However, the limit of detection for the important pathogens N. meningitidis and S. pneumoniae could be improved.