Rapid qualitative urinary tract infection pathogen identification by SeptiFast real-time PCR.

Research paper by Lutz E LE Lehmann, Stefan S Hauser, Thomas T Malinka, Sven S Klaschik, Stefan U SU Weber, Jens-Christian JC Schewe, Frank F Stüber, Malte M Book

Indexed on: 02 Mar '11Published on: 02 Mar '11Published in: PloS one


Urinary tract infections (UTI) are frequent in outpatients. Fast pathogen identification is mandatory for shortening the time of discomfort and preventing serious complications. Urine culture needs up to 48 hours until pathogen identification. Consequently, the initial antibiotic regimen is empirical.To evaluate the feasibility of qualitative urine pathogen identification by a commercially available real-time PCR blood pathogen test (SeptiFast®) and to compare the results with dipslide and microbiological culture.Pilot study with prospectively collected urine samples.University hospital.82 prospectively collected urine samples from 81 patients with suspected UTI were included. Dipslide urine culture was followed by microbiological pathogen identification in dipslide positive samples. In parallel, qualitative DNA based pathogen identification (SeptiFast®) was performed in all samples.61 samples were SeptiFast® positive, whereas 67 samples were dipslide culture positive. The inter-methodological concordance of positive and negative findings in the gram+, gram- and fungi sector was 371/410 (90%), 477/492 (97%) and 238/246 (97%), respectively. Sensitivity and specificity of the SeptiFast® test for the detection of an infection was 0.82 and 0.60, respectively. SeptiFast® pathogen identifications were available at least 43 hours prior to culture results.The SeptiFast® platform identified bacterial DNA in urine specimens considerably faster compared to conventional culture. For UTI diagnosis sensitivity and specificity is limited by its present qualitative setup which does not allow pathogen quantification. Future quantitative assays may hold promise for PCR based UTI pathogen identification as a supplementation of conventional culture methods.

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